Builder jailed for conning pensioner

A builder who conned a Middlesex pensioner out of more than £100,000 has been jailed for seven years although his accomplices have yet to be found.
A group of builders first approached a 76-year-old man from Ponders End in 2004, offering him a free roof survey.

They then charged the man £66,000 for a number of unnecessary and botched jobs, according to the Enfield Independent. When, in 2007, the pensioner refused to pay any more money, the crooks arranged for Gary McCullagh to pose as a Customs and Excise officer.

McCullagh told the man that he had inadvertently become part of a VAT scam and would have to pay more money if he were to avoid jail. Having paid a further £61,000 to McCullagh, the pension contacted the police who arrested him when he arrived to collect yet more money.

McCullagh, 42 years, of Havelock Close, Hammersmith, appeared at Harrow Green Crown Court on May 9, were he pleaded guilty to defrauding the 76-year-old out of more than £60,000.

He was charged with five offences of fraud and false representation and subsequently sentenced to seven years and six months.

Officers from Enfield’s Major Crime Unit and Crime Squad have attempted to locate the original building firm but it has yet to be traced.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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