Unfair, misleading and aggressive trading practices used to defraud pensioners are an “industry standard” for the building trade.

This is the view of West Midlands building company directors Sarah Beadle (40) and Martin Evans (58) of Summit Roofguard, who have both been jailed for two and a half years for pressurising pensioners into paying grossly inflated amounts for building work. One paid £20,000 for guttering that could have been repaired for £40, and another was charged £9,585 for work that should have cost £2,820. The over-charging was made possible by victims being told that their properties were in urgent need of repair and that they were getting a discount that was only available for a few hours, two clear indications of a scam.

Four others at Summit Roofguard received suspended sentences for their parts in the deceit. One receiving a 12 month sentence suspended for two years was Summit’s top salesperson Glenys Bolton, a 64 year-old from Birmingham who specialised in using her own age to get the trust of old people, lying about the building work they needed for their homes, telling them that her husband was wheelchair-bound to get sympathy and kissing and hugging them after they had agreed to buy.

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