Builders who conned elderly victim jailed

Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court
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Two crooked builders who charged a vulnerable pensioner for work at 10 times the going rate have both been jailed for 12 months.

Phillip Edington and Joseph Featon charged the 76-year-old man £29,000.

An expert later estimated the value of the work to be just £2,590.

“He also found that what work had been carried out was of a poor standard and fell short of that expected of a competent professional,” said Ken Grant, prosecuting.

Edington, 56, and Featon, 59, who live at different addresses in Bridgehouse Road, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between January 2009 and April 2012.

“He (the victim) was targeted because you saw him as a soft touch,” Judge Mark Brown told the two men.

“The fraud was committed over three years and repeated on a number of occasions.

“I would be failing in my public duty if I did not sent out a very clear message that those who rip off the elderly and vulnerable in this sort of way can expect to go to prison immediately.”

Mr Grant told Liverpool Crown Court the victim, who lives alone at his home in Preston Road, Standish, Wigan, suffered from dementia.

The two men began working at his home in 2009 after leafletting the area looking for business.

They carried out work on eight occasions until a concerned neighbour raised the alarm after the victim asked her to look at his bank records.

Sentencing the men, who have no previous convictions, Judge Brown said that Edington was described as “a pleasant hard working man” who had a distinguished record as a boxing promoter and is 
responsible for his daughter.

Featon was described as “honest, caring kind and trustworthy” and cares for his disabled wife.

Judge Brown said he accepted the pair had not fraudulently and deliberately targeted a vulnerable victim from the start.

But having identified his generosity saw him as “an easy target”.

“You knew you were substantially overcharging him,” the judge added.

Neil Baki, defending, said Edington was “ashamed that at this stage of his life he has done something so awful and out of character.”

Michael McKeown, defending Featon, said his client was also ashamed and accepts he had acted out of greed and was remorseful.

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