Rogue roofer who targeted Sheffield victims banned from work over £7,800 ‘urgent repair’ fraud

A rogue roofer who defrauded victims in Sheffield by falsely claiming their homes needed ‘urgent repairs’ before handing them bills for thousands of pounds has been banned from the trade.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:30 pm

Alfred Stephen Milner, 65, of South Kirby, Pontefract, swindled his victims for over £7,800 by acting as if their homes needed immediate, expensive repair work.

But his scheme was halted following an investigation by Sheffield Trading Standards, who claim he would have taken his targets for £70,000 without intervention.

He has now been has been handed a 12-month Community Order, a curfew and banned from working in the trade until further notice after pleading guilty to fraud at Sheffield Crown Court.

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A rogue roofer has been banned from the trade for a year for duping his victims in paying thousands for needless work.

Between June 2017 and July 2018, whilst trading as UK Roofing and Building, Milner defrauded his victims out of £7,800.

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His frauds followed the same pattern; in each case, after agreeing relatively low-cost quotes for minor roof repairs, Milner told each of the victims that further, urgent, and expensive repairs were needed.

As part of their investigation, Sheffield Trading Standards commissioned expert reports on the work carried out by Milner and in each case, the expert concluded the same: the additional work Milner told the victims was essential, wasn’t required and the work he had done was poor quality and expensive.

He told one couple he was surprised their roof had not already collapsed and killed somebody. He then tried to charge them £8,000 for a supporting steel beam, which was not needed.

Milner tried to obtain a further £50,000 from other elderly and vulnerable victims for new roofs which were later assessed as being unnecessary but of such poor quality they were not compliant with building regulations.

His fraudulent trading continued for over a year until Sheffield Trading Standards intervened.

In sentencing, Her Honour Judge Harrison told Milner he had held himself out as a genuine businessman but had not behaved like a proper businessman would.

She said he had played a significant role in the fraud, the victims of which were particularly vulnerable, for personal gain to fund his retirement.

She added: “The upset and distress that has been caused (to the victims), as I have heard, is incalculable”.

She sentenced Milner to a 12-month community order, 15 days rehabilitation and reparative community service and a three-month tagged curfew between 8pm and 8am.

In addition, she granted a Criminal Behaviour Order prohibiting him from working in the building trade until further notice.

Judge Harrison told him that a 21-month custodial sentence was appropriate however, due to medical circumstances, custody could be avoided.

Councillor Paul Wood, Executive Member for Housing, Roads and Waste Management, said: “We are committed to protecting vulnerable people from rogue traders who take advantage. People pay good money to maintain their homes and have a right to expect reasonable and trustworthy service from businesses.

“Charging people excessive sums of money for unnecessary and inadequate work is unacceptable. This case should stand as a warning to others that we will take action against people who continuously disregard their obligations as a business.

“Special thanks to the Trading Standards Sheffield team who identified Milner was deceiving his customers and saved many people from losing thousands.”