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Rogue builder charged elderly couple almost £19,000 for 'pressure washing their drive'

Credit: South Wales Police

A rogue builder has been jailed for defrauding elderly and vulnerable victims.

David McAllister, 51, from Cardiff attempted to defraud a total of £39,950 from three victims over a six month period, a court has heard.

Mr McAllister first targeted a couple with memory issues in their 80s between December 2016 and January 2017 last year who paid him £18,850 for work to be carried out on their roof.

But, it was later found by an independent surveyor the only work that was carried out was pressure washing of their drive at a value of £300.

In June 2017, the second victim, an elderly man who lived alone, paid McAllister £4,250 for painting work to the front of his property. The independent surveyor confirmed that the value of the work carried out was a mere £700.

The third victim, who was 79 and lived alone and suffered with mobility and other health issues was cold called by McAllister, who claimed she needed work to her roof. The initial price for the work was estimated by McAllister at £8,500 but this soon doubled in value to £16,050. On the day the money was due to be collected, the matter was reported to the police and David McAllister was arrested near the victim’s home.

In each instance, David McAllister used a false name and the court heard he had previous convictions for fraud, making false representation and theft.

In sentencing, Judge Jeremy Jenkins referred to David McAllister as a “rogue builder, who prayed on elderly and vulnerable victims, charging exorbitant fees for work that didn’t take place, or was carried out to a very poor standard.”

“In each case, you used an alias to disguise your identity and it is my view, anyone who targets elderly or vulnerable people receives immediate imprisonment.”

This is a case when a man believed he had the right to target vulnerable and elderly people for work that wasn’t required to their homes and charged and collected significant amounts of money.

This money was these people’s life savings and it sickens me that someone can have the audacity to carry out such crimes against such vulnerable members of our society.

– Cllr Michael Michael, Cardiff Council

David McAllister was sentenced to two years imprisonment, reduced to 16 months through his early guilty plea.

A Criminal Behaviour Order was also made for three years which restricts McAllister from trading which will come into force when he is released from prison.