THREE rogue traders who targeted Yate residents with a roofing scam have been jailed.
The men traded under names including Yate Roofing, and made £45,000 by cheating 18 home owners in an area stretching from Gloucestershire to Wiltshire and Bristol.
Trading standards officers say there may have been many more unknown victims in the area.
Brothers Matty Rossiter, aged 18, and James Rossiter, aged 24 from Sambourne Park, Minety, Wiltshire, were arrested and pleaded guilty to participating in a fraudulent business and fraud by false representation.
Dean Smith, aged 21, from Aldermaston in Berkshire, admitted participating in a fraudulent business.
On April 13 at Swindon Crown Court, Matty Rossiter was sentenced to two years and three months in prison, James Rossiter was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, and Dean Smith was sentenced to three years in prison.
The prosecutions were brought by Wiltshire Trading Standards, who said the cases that formed the basis of the case happened between October 2020 and March 2021, when the men carried out unnecessary and overpriced work.
But a spokesperson said: “During the investigation many more consumers were interviewed who had also been defrauded but did not want to provide a witness statement.
“Some were cold called but many had engaged the men through Facebook and professional-looking websites.”
Trading standards officers say the three men also used the business names Southern Homecare, Chippenham Roofing, Skyline Roofing, Wiltshire Roofing, Tree Wise, RM Building & Landscapes and Enterprise Roofing.
Many of the victims ended up having to pay out more money to have the faulty work put right. The biggest loss was £9,000.
Among the victims was a Yate man, Stuart Dye. BBC News reported that he had been charged £3,000 for less than a day’s work, with one of the tiles used by the gang taken directly from his neighbour’s roof.
A chartered surveyor called to assess the work said it was “abysmal”, “carried out with no attendant skill or competence” and “probably without the use of appropriate hand tools”.
Trading standards also released a video made by the roofers showing them mocking an 82-year-old Wiltshire man they had targeted, bragging about “doing some bodging” and how easily they could find elderly victims like him.
People are being urged to be extremely cautious of anyone who turns up on their doorstep offering to do work that perhaps they didn’t even think was needed, at ‘too good to be true’ prices.
They recommend always getting at least three quotes, with full details in writing, before any work takes place.
Anyone who thinks they have been the victim of a rogue trader should call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
Picture: The roofers filmed themselves carrying out shoddy work and bragging about conning their victims