Roofing scam puts fraudster behind bars

The man frontinga roofing scam gang was jailed for 20 months at Aylesbury Crown Court on Tuesday (Dec 15) for his part in defrauding two pensioners of almost £20,000.

It followed a joint investigation by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards and Thames Valley Police.

Grant Melia, aged 35, of Southwood Road, Dunstable,had admitted participating in a fraudulent business against Section 9 of the Fraud Act.

The court heard Mr Melia had made cold calls with other menon two elderly people – one in Hazlemere and the other in Toddington (Beds) – to do work on the roofs of their homes.

Justin Amos, prosecuting, said the work done was of no value and left the victims worried and suffering sleepless nights.

He told Judge Curtis-Raleigh Mr Melia had operated over a sustained period, with increasing demands for payment from his two victims – £11,750 from one and £8,500 from the other – and got someone else to launder the proceeds.

The Judge described Mr Melia’s actions as despicable offending, preying on the sick and elderly, carried on over time and said it was clear from his record that he had done this before.

Mr Melia hadthree convictions for fraud and money laundering involving taking money from elderly victims for work not done.

Trading Standards investigating officer Tim Day said: ‘These vulnerable elderly people lost most of their life’s savings to Mr Melia, and suffered untold stress as a result of his repeated demands for payments.’

Martin Phillips, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said: ‘We won’t tolerate doorstep fraudsters who prey on vulnerable and elderly people in Buckinghamshire, and we’ll doall we can to root them out and press for severe penalties.’