Rogue trader receives jail term

Arthur Draper
Arthur Draper
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A rogue trader who targeted elderly homeowners across East Anglia has been jailed for 18 months.

Arthur Draper, charged inflated prices for unnecessary and substandard work.

The 29-year-old, of Saddlebow Caravan Park, King’s Lynn, pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and four counts of money laundering.

He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment at Norwich Crown Court today.

Police said that in July 2011 Draper called at a home in Mildenhall and offered to carry out work on the roof.

The next day Draper and three other men arrived and the male homeowner withdrew £500 to pay for the work. Draper then identified more work and the price increased to £3,600.

The homeowner had concerns about the quality of Draper’s work but was fearful of the consequences if he complained.

A chartered surveyor inspected the work and found none of it had been completed properly and that it had no value.

During 2011 Draper also targeted homeowners in Fakenham and Diss as well as profiting from work done at a property in Cambridgeshire.

He was arrested in March 2012 following a joint investigation by Norfolk Police and Cambridgeshire Trading Standards.

Detective Constable Colin Aris, of Norfolk Police’s Operation RADAR team, said: “Draper took advantage of elderly homeowners who felt they could not challenge his increasing prices and sadly suffered the consequences.

“He exploited their good nature by persuading them to have unnecessary work done which was of little or no value, and even caused damage which then needed repairing.

“He is a classic rogue trader who was simply out for himself and never intended to carry out work to a proper standard within the law. He used a false name and even pretended his van and phone had been stolen to get out of facing up to the shoddy work he had left behind.

“Today’s custodial sentence is a reflection of the impact his offending has had on these vulnerable members of the community,”