March 1 2015 Latest news:
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
A conman spared prison for ripping off a Felixstowe widow has been jailed after continuing to prey on elderly people while under a suspended prison sentence.
James Doran duped his victims out of thousands of pounds during his latest set of offences.
The rogue trader was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years by Ipswich Crown Court in October 2010 after conning more than £18,000 from an 84-year-old woman in Felixstowe.
The then-25-year-old persuaded her to pay out the money for block paving at the front of her home without telling her how much it would cost.
Having promised to pay back the money, Doran was shown leniency by the court and ordered to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work.
However, he has now been jailed for 30 months after carrying out the same scam in Plymouth and Exeter less two years later.
Doran of Quedgely, Gloucester and Patrick Conners of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to a variety of offences in Exeter and Plymouth committed in the summer of 2012.
Trading as South West Drives and Patios, the two approached an elderly man to install a dodgy block-paved driveway at his home.
Police were alerted following a call from the resident’s bank manager after the man had asked for a loan of £6,000 to cover the cost of the driveway. Investigations also revealed the resident was not provided with a cancellation notice, and other paperwork had false information about the business.
Doran also gave the resident false names.
Days later, the pair were trading this time as Abbey Drives, and attempted to persuade an elderly residents to enter a similar contract. They failed as the resident’s son and daughter-in-law stopped the work being completed..
Doran was jailed for 30 months at Exeter Crown Court, while Conners was sentenced for 18 months, suspended for two years.
The case was brought by Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service after a joint investigation with Plymouth City Council Trading Standards.
After Doran’s Ipswich Crown Court sentencing in 2010 his Felixstowe victim said: “In all my life I’ve never experienced anything like that. It could even push someone who is elderly to the brink.”
The work had taken two days. Doran then presented the widow with a £4,550 bill. A surveyor who later examined the work found Doran had used unsuitable blocks that had been poorly laid.
Doran, then of Northampton, suggested he put down tarmac at the side and rear of the house but no price was discussed. He subsequently charged the woman £14,000 which she paid.
He had then suggested that some paving slabs in the garden needed relaying and charged £1,400 for a morning’s work.
The police became involved after another man called at the woman’s house saying she owed a further £25,000.