Two year sentence for rogue trader who defrauded £93k from elderly Warwickshire woman
By James Smith
16th Jun 2022 | Local News
A rogue trader who took advantage of an elderly South Warwickshire woman has been handed a two year prison sentence.
Between 2017 and 2018, Alex Daniel Martin, 30, of Rosehill Drive, Bransgore, Dorset, defrauded her of more than £93,000 to fund his gambling addiction.
He made multiple visits to the victim's home, despite living 200 miles away.
The victim has not been named.
Trading as Ideal Home Systems Ltd, he repeatedly scammed her, charging her exorbitant amounts for work he told her he had carried out to her roof, including cleaning, using anti-fungal spray and repointing.
The victim also made a large upfront payment for a 'bespoke driveway'.
An expert surveyor concluded that the only evidence of any work being done was that the guttering and downpipes were clear, and that a wall may have been cleaned.
The value of this work was described as 'negligible'.
Trading Standards Officers launched an investigation in August 2018 after they received a complaint about the trader from a family member of the victim.
The prosecution was brought by Warwickshire County Council's trading standards service.
On Monday 13 June 2022 at Warwick Crown Court Mr Martin was sentenced after pleading guilty to two offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and one offence under the Companies Act 2006 at an earlier hearing.
A Criminal Behaviour Order was also imposed for a five-year period and he was ordered to pay a victim surcharge and £10,000 prosecution costs.
When Warwickshire Trading Standards launched their investigation, Mr Martin began to pay back the money he had taken from the victim. At court he was ordered to pay the balance owed of £4,900.
Mr Martin was already banned from being a company director.
In mitigation, Mr Jamie Gammon, representing Mr Martin, stated that his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, was paying the money back that he had taken and had sought help for his gambling issues.