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Rogue trader ‘harrassed and intimidated’ Drayton pensioner, 87

12:23 21 August 2012

Norwich Crown Court
picture by Adrian Judd
for EDP

Norwich Crown Court picture by Adrian Judd for EDP

copyright of Archant © 2010 01603 772434

A rogue trader admitted cheating a vulnerable 87-year-old Drayton pensioner out of £80 for guttering work, which is said to left his victim feeling “harassed and intimidated”.

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Duncan McPhee, 31, called on the pensioner at her home in February and said her gutters were filled with moss and urgently needed clearing, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Despite telling him she was not interested, she was woken the next day by noise as McPhee and another man had climbed over a locked gate to gain access, and had started doing work on her property.

Philip Farr, prosecuting, said: “The males said they had coated her gutters and the moss would not build up again, and told her she would have to give them £80.”

The court heart that the victim felt vulnerable, harassed and intimidated and just wanted them off her property. She eventually got the money from a cash machine in Drayton and handed over the cash in a pub car park.

Mr Farr said: “After handing the money over she states she felt foolish as she knew it was wrong, but did not wish to argue with them. She went home and cried her eyes out.”

McPhee, of Flowerdew Close, Hethersett, at first denied he had conned the pensioner but changed his plea to guilty during the trial. He is due to be sentenced on Friday for fraud.

The court heard he had a previous conviction for a similar matter. Judge Paul Downes granted McPhee bail on condition he does not carry out work on a property in the meantime.

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