Rogue trader given fine after ripping off the elderly
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A rogue trader has been fined £275 after exploiting the elderly to make money as a rogue trader.
Alan Fitzgerald, 53, of Duck Street, Rushden, has been convicted of two offences.
On February 2, 2020, at an address in Wellingborough, Fitzgerald took a ladder and money from a 70-year-old man after agreeing that he would do some work on the victim’s house. He never returned to do the work and never returned the ladder.
On February 14, 2020, Fitzgerald turned up at the address of a 72-year-old man and after agreeing to do work on the man’s property, he took a £100 deposit, left, and never returned to carry out the work.
At Northampton Magistrates’ Court last week, Fitzgerald was given a £275 fine for the offences.
Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant Chris Stevens, said: “People like Alan Fitzgerald give decent, hardworking traders a bad name and I am pleased to see him convicted for these offences.
“The emotional distress felt by the victims in these cases cannot be underestimated. They have put their trust in someone in their own homes and to find out that they have been conned leaves them feeling very vulnerable.
“Our advice if you need work doing on your home is to research traders properly in advance so you’re confident that the person doing the work is legitimate and can be trusted.
“The advice from Trading Standards is never to buy goods or services from a cold caller on your doorstep, even if they try and frighten you that the work needs doing immediately.
“Be wary of anyone cold-calling and if you have elderly relatives, please make them aware of this scam so they do not fall for a rogue trader.”
To find a Trading Standards approved trader please visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders or telephone 01392 383430.
If residents are concerned about a caller at the door or suspect that rogue doorstep traders or distraction burglars are operating in their community, they should contact the dedicated Doorstep crime Action Network (DAN) on 0345 23 07 702.
If you believe a crime is in progress, please dial 999. Remember, IF YOU’RE NOT SURE DON’T OPEN THE DOOR.