Two men who conned an elderly widower out of almost £7,000 in a cynical building fraud have been jailed.
The 84-year-old victim of Thomas Joyce and his nephew Christopher Joyce was talked into having unnecessary work carried out at his dorma bungalow home in Poulton.
Preston Crown Court heard a surveyor employed by Lancashire Policelater found the work was not needed and had been done to a poor standard and had been overpriced.
Thomas Joyce, 48, of Gosford Street, Liverpool and his 29-year-old nephew Christopher of Penrose Avenue, Marton both pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.
The work included repairs to the garage, a slurry mixture placed on the driveway and then covered in black dye to make it look as though it had been repaired and a wall re-built. Thomas Joyce, who had only been released from a jail term one month earlier for a similar offence, was jailed for two years, while his relative got a 12 months term.
Their con included Thomas Joyce going around the man’s home with a gadget, claiming that he had damp. Prosecutors said the victim ended up paying out a total of £6,850.
Christopher Joyce was handed cheques to pay into his account and later handed the money to his uncle.
Martin Reid, prosecuting, said Thomas Joyce knocked on the elderly’s man’s door on January 9 last year.
He was wearing a high visibility jacket with a logo on it.
He began talking to the householder about his patio, saying it looked overgrown and dirty.
It was agreed that work would be carried out.
The following day they returned with another man to do that.
Thomas Joyce told the pensioner he had a problem with his drains and went on to say there must be a broken pipe leaking water.
He also told the man he needed a damp proof course. He quoted him a price of £2,200 to do the work.
When the man said he couldn’t afford that, he was offered a £2,000 price and told he was being given a fair deal. The householder reluctantly agreed.
The victim, who had always kept his home nice, was said to have been left feeling foolish and taken advantage of.
The police surveyor found the patio had been power washed but, everything else had not been necessary. The works should have cost £400-£500.
Both men had numerous previous convictions.