A gang of rogue traders have pleaded guilty to two charges of consumer fraud after scamming vulnerable people in Hartlepool.
Teesside Crown Court heard how the three men drove an elderly dementia sufferer to a cash point to withdraw money - then abandoned him when they realised he had forgotten his bank card.
Prosecutor Ian West said the 81-year-old man handed over £60 for roofing work which was never done, then driven a mile to Linthorpe Village where he was just left.
A witness who was working on a nearby school saw the three men pull up in
the hire van and approach the pensioner's home - and took down the number
He watched as one of the scammers climbed onto the roof and simply sat on
the ridge tiles for ten minutes before coming down and ask for his money.
Mr West told Recorder Eric Elliott, QC: "Again not a joy of work was done
on the house . . . he was just abandoned there and left to make his own way
On another occasion last summer, the court heard that the bogus roofers charged an 84-year-old woman £250 for work on the guttering to her home which was never carried out.
Michael Gales, 26, Lee Davidson, 29, and Phillip Orton, 53, hired vans "week after week" to travel around looking for work.
Prosecutor Ian West said they targeted vulnerable people, and the younger
two men "used Orton as a commodity" because he had a driving licence.
They pleaded guilty to two charges of consumer fraud.
Orton, of Windermere Road, Davidson, of Shelley Grove, and Gales, of Brenda Road, were all remanded in custody last night by Mr Recorder Elliott.
Mr West said: "These two offences, committed a month apart, were committed
by the group. They had been hiring vans from the same company week after week.
"The Crown say there is an element of targeting here . . . Orton made
admissions in his interview that he had been driving the others around
knowing they were up to no good."