Victim tells how rogue trader conned him out of £10,000
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
A rogue trader gave one of his unsuspecting victims "a sense of confidence" prior to leaving his home in a "dangerous state" and fleecing him of more than £10,000.
Grant Taylor, from Wattisfield, near Diss, enlisted the services of Wesley Theobald in May last year to put up new cladding.
But several months later Theobald had still not completed the work - initially expected to take two weeks.
On Thursday, the "despicable" rogue roofer was sentenced to three years in prison for ripping off nine customers after accepting more than £27,000 in deposit payments.
Mr Taylor found Theobald on trade website, myjobquote.co.uk, and was quoted £8,500 for the job.
The 39-year-old said Theobald came across as more knowledgeable than two others he sought prices from.
“He gave me a sense of confidence that he knew what he was doing,” said Mr Taylor.
“They turned up on the first day and said we should replace the tiles and felt on the roof, which was an additional £2,500.
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“At each stage he asked for a deposit for the materials. The agreement was, I would pay for 50pc of the materials."
While keen to put his faith in Theobald, Mr Taylor was confronted with hurdles at every turn.
"He would say, 'I have a cash flow problem, do you mind giving me some more money?'", he added.
“Some days he wouldn’t show up until 11 and then he would go four hours later, saying he had other jobs."
By August the work was still not complete, and Mr Taylor was losing patience.
He said: “There were a lot of excuses about Covid and materials not being available, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
“Then he started saying he had personal problems. He turned up one day with a smashed face. He kept coming up with all these excuses.
“That went on until August 1, when I told him if he didn’t sort it out, I was going to report him to trading standards."
An investigation discovered Theobald, who lives in King's Lynn, had a clear pattern of fraudulent trading dating from 2017 to 2020.
The 30-year-old's actions forced victims to shell out a total of £20,000 for remedial work.
In Mr Taylor's case the roof was 80pc finished, but had a number of leaks and the cladding was never replaced.
"It was not just the fact he took the money," added Mr Taylor. "He left it in a dangerous state with trip hazards and electrics exposed."