Cowboy builder told Fylde pensioner she 'needed to pay £2,500' to save home from collapsing

Stewart Langton turned up at the door of 82-year-old Lynn Hall promising to fix a small leak for "no more than £100." Less than 24 hours later, he was demanding thousands. Credit: LancsLive

A pensioner was told by a cowboy builder her roof could collapse at any moment if she did not send him £2,500 via bank transfer.

Stewart Langton turned up at the door of 82-year-old Lynn Hall in Wesham, Fylde, promising to fix a small leak for "no more than £100".

While Lynn had no reason to worry at first, this was the start of a ruse that Langton had used to scam homeowners out of more than £200,000.

Lynn had noticed the leak in her bedroom, and had struggled to find a tradesman to fix it.

She said: "I'd been calling everyone and leaving messages but couldn't find anyone to fix it

"Then just as it was going dark, this man came and said he was a roofer. I was so pleased."

Lynn showed Langton round to the back of her house and was delighted when he said he could fix the leak.

Lynn Hall was pressured into paying the builders every penny she had. Credit: LancsLive

Lynn said: "He said it will be £30 - or might even be £100, as though that was the most it could possibly be. He said he would be back tomorrow."

Langton returned to her home on Princess Avenue the next day with another man. The pair put up ladders and went to inspect the leak.

Lynn said: "He said, 'it will all need doing - the batons are rotted' and he threw a piece of damp wood down to the ground."

Langton said the roof was in a dangerous state and it could collapse at any point overnight. He asked Mrs Hall to make a bank transfer for £2,500 to secure her home.

Lynn said: "I am not too savvy at things like internet banking.

"It seemed a lot he was asking for a quarter of the roof. As they were looking they were picking the tiles up off the roof, saying they were crumbling.

"There was a lad on the roof, nowhere near where the leak was, and Langton just kept going on about this bank transfer.

"It was bad weather and I was really worried about the roof coming in. I gathered up all the cash I had in the house, which was £495, which I gave him to buy materials."

Before leaving, Langton gave her £15 back as he did not want to "leave her penniless".

He continued to pressure Lynn into sending more money, claiming the full roof needed to be replaced at a cost of £15,000.

Lynn said: "I expected him to get in the van and go and get materials but he wasn't going anywhere.

"He just said the roof was crumbling and it would cost £7,500 to replace one half. To do the whole thing, which is what I would have wanted, would have been £15,000.

"In my mind, I was thinking 'give him the money quick and get it done'. I was panicking.

"He kept going on and on about this bank transfer. In the end, I said, 'leave it with me and I'll do it tomorrow.'"

The next day, Lynn left the house on her mobility scooter to go to a local club. When she arrived, she spoke to a friend who put her in touch with a reputable builder.

When the builder checked Lynn's roof, he said there were just two tiles which needed replacing.

Lynn said: "He showed me there was nothing wrong with it."

After speaking to a friend, Lynn had another builder look at the roof who told her only a couple of the tiles needed replacing. Credit: Lancs Live

Lynn was not the only victim of Stewart Langton. Between 2022 and 2024, Langton conned 10 homeowners out of more than £200,000 for work that did not need to be done, or was done to a poor standard.

Trading Standards launched an investigation after receiving a number of complaints that customers had been quoted low rates for work, only for prices to be ramped up once the job had started.

Work was left unfinished and customers were told workers would walk off the job if large amounts of money were not paid immediately.

Langton, of Whalley Lane, Blackpool, has been jailed for four years and three months after he pleaded guilty to carrying out a fraudulent business.

He has also been handed a 10 year criminal behaviour order, banning him from working on people's homes.

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