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Rogue trader conned elderly West Berkshire woman

Man sentenced for overcharging vulnerable victim

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

Contact:

01635 886632

Court

A ROGUE trader who defrauded an elderly and vulnerable woman has been sentenced to 100 hours community work.

Noah Kempster, 47, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of fraud by false representation contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.

He was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on March 31.

His sentencing came as a result of an investigation carried out by West Berkshire and Wokingham Borough Councils’ trading standards team, supported by Thames Valley Police.

The investigation centred on work purported to have been carried out at the home of an elderly West Berkshire resident.

It revealed that in July 2015 Kempster cold-called the woman, offering to do work around the garden. For this he charged £800. He returned in September 2015 and purported to carry out a further £1,500-worth of work.

The subsequent investigation revealed a significant amount of the work that Kempster had claimed to have carried out had, in fact, been previously carried out by another person.

In entering guilty pleas, Kempster conceded that this amounted to £500 with respect the work in July 2015 and £750 in September 2015.

Passing sentence, Judge Dugdale acknowledged the fact that the consumer was a vulnerable person in her 80s and that Kempster knew of her vulnerability and had overcharged her. 

In addition to the 100 hour community order, Kempster offered to pay the entire sum of £2,300 in compensation and an order to pay within 14 days was made. 

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge.

West Berkshire Council executive member for public protection Marcus Franks said: “We would urge people who have concerns that they, their friends, neighbours or relatives may be the victim of doorstep crime to contact trading standards on (01635) 519930 or the police immediately.”

Kempster gave his current address as Kybes Lane, Grazeley, Wokingham.

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