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Rogue traders jailed for ripping off pensioners

Thomas Maughan visited by trading standards officer Photo: Exeter Court Service

A pair of rogue trader who ripped off pensioners by charging extortionate prices for work on drives and roofs have been jailed.

Thomas Mahon, 45 and his son in law Thomas Maughan, 26, were both jailed for a year.

The men are Irish travellers from a caravan site at Farringdon, near Exeter. They targeted victims in Newton Abbot, Dawlish and Seaton.

A third man named Matthew Latham, 35, as a front for their schemes because he had a local accent and was more likely to be trusted.

The three men used the name 'Wimpey Construction, Paving and Cleaning' hoping to be mistaken for the well known builders.

Customers were charged ridiculous prices for sub-standard work before being pressured into paying in cash straight away.

A 93-year-old in Seaton was on the verge of handing over £5,200 for paving work on his drive when a bank cashier became suspicious and alerted the police.

Other victims included a Japanese widow in Seaton who spoke almost no English and a man in Dawlish who came back from holiday to find work had been done on his drive which he was then asked to pay for.

Mahon and Maughan denied conspiracy to defraud but were found guilty at a trial at Exeter Crown Court.

Latham, admitted the same offence and was jailed for eight months - his sentence was suspended for two years.

Your behaviour was wholly unacceptable because you put pressure on the elderly and vulnerable and you showed a willingness to be belligerent, including to those in authority.

You failed to provide a cooling off period and in one case escorted and watched one of your victims as she went to a cashpoint.

– Judge Erik Salomonsen