Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Shame of Father and Son Cowboy Builders ; Pensioners Conned out of Thousands by pairVictims Faced Huge Bills for Shoddy Roof Work

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Shame of Father and Son Cowboy Builders ; Pensioners Conned out of Thousands by pairVictims Faced Huge Bills for Shoddy Roof Work

Article excerpt

PENSIONERS were left thousands of pounds out of pocket after they were targeted by a father-and-son team of cowboy builders.

Steven Lee senior, 50, and Steven Lee junior, 27, carried out work on the roofs of their victims' homes - then handed them massive bills.

But the work was so poor that the pensioners, from the Brandlesholme area of Bury, had to get other builders to put it right - leaving an even deeper hole in their savings.

Bolton Crown Court was told that one of their victims - a 69- year-old woman - paid Steven Lee senior more than Pounds 15,000 for the work he carried out in 2012, but had to pay more than Pounds 8,800 to another builder to put it right. She dipped into her life savings to pay him.

Another pensioner, 81-yearold Gordon Oates, paid Pounds 1,300 for the work that was carried out on his roof in 2011 and then had to pay Pounds 200 to another roofer.

Steven Lee senior, of Rosemary Lane in Bartle, Preston, admitted five charges under the Consumer Protection of Unfair Trading Regulations, 2008.

His son, of the same address, admitted two charges under the same act in relation to the work done on the woman's house.

They were caught after an investigation by trading standards chiefs in Bury.

David Toal, prosecuting for Bury council, told the court an expert inspected the work at the woman's home and found it to be of a 'very poor quality'.

The total paid out by the man and the woman, including cash they had to pay to other builders for the remedial work, was Pounds 25,485. The court heard that Mr Oates tried to call Steven Lee senior when he saw the state of the work in 2011 but was unable to get hold of him.

The court heard that Mr Oates was distressed by the scam and the woman victim, who has not been named, was unable to sleep because of stress caused by the ordeal.

Colin Drew, defending, said Steven Lee senior, who will have his 50th birthday in prison today, had now given up roofing because he was 'terrified' of the consequences and was now selling second hand clothes and bedding on a market stall. …

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