Padiham fraudster who targeted elderly is jailed

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A man who deliberately targeted three elderly people for fraud, over building work he claimed needed doing, has been jailed for two years and two months.

Christopher McKillop (33) of Russell Terrace, Padiham, received more than £900 from an 81-year-old woman and hundreds of pounds from a man, both living in Waterfoot, Rossendale.

Preston Crown Court heard that he also targeted a 92-year-old living at Samlesbury, going with him in a taxi to a bank in Preston to withdraw money and claiming to be the man’s grandson.

That victim had been persuaded to pay £3,200 for rewiring work.

McKillop had been committed to the higher court for sentencing for one offence of engaging in an unfair commercial practice and three of dishonestly making false representations.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to commit fraud and another of making off without paying a taxi fare. His offences were carried out in May this year.

Miss Lucy Wright (prosecuting) said the 81-year-old woman living in Waterfoot had paid £1,500 for legitimate roofing work to her home.

Two weeks later, the defendant, who was working for a firm called R&B roofing, had told her she needed a new window fitted. The woman was quoted an estimate of £460 and she reluctantly agreed to the work.

Some days later, McKillop and two other labourers went to her home. She was told the work would now cost £690.

Later, the woman contacted R&B roofing after realising that her roof was leaking. McKillop went back and told her the roof needed entirely new felting and due to the leak, all boxes in a storage space had become wet and damaged.

She reluctantly agreed to more work being done, at a cost of £250. The defendant and others went on to say they had been unable to buy silicone sealant, but that they would leave their ladders as a goodwill gesture, that they would return.

However, they never went back. Neither was any of the work completed. That victim went on to be given a £50 partial refund.

A man also living in Waterfoot was approached in similar fashion by McKillop and told he needed work under some roofing tiles. He was given a £900 quote.

Money was handed over, but the work was never started or done.

Mr Jon Close (defending) said McKillop was not an intelligent man. Other people had been “lurking around” at the back of the offences.

“He was something of a lightening rod who was used. He had little knowledge as to what prices were. He has no knowledge of electrical works or roofing. In essence, he was given a script.”

Judge Anthony Russell QC gave McKillop 20 months prison for the offences, plus six months on top for breaching a suspended sentence order.

He told him: “It was deliberate targeting of elderly and vulnerable victims which no doubt has had a lasting effect upon them and their families.”