A callous traveller gang which conned a pensioner out of £70,000 for building work worth just £250 have been jailed for 19 years.
The 94-year-old was one of 11 elderly victims swindled out of £200,000 for bogus building work by David Evans, his sons Buddy and Shannon and two accomplices.
They targeted vulnerable pensioners in Gloucestershire over a five-year-period and persuaded them that maintenance work was needed on their homes.
But the elderly victims – aged between 81 and 94 – were often ”confused” and convinced to hand over vast cheques for the ”shoddy and vastly overpriced” work.
Two victims were each charged £40,000 for work which should have cost just a few hundred pounds.
The men all admitted conspiracy to defraud between February 2003 and October 2008 and were jailed for a total of 19 years yesterday at Bristol Crown Court.
David Evans, 57, sons Buddy, 22, and Shannon, 21, and pals Patrick Maughan, 21, and Stephen Maloney, 20, all lived on caravan parks near Gloucester.
The court heard how they carefully selected targets who were ”ripe for the picking”.
One victim, a 94-year-old woman from Cheltenham, Glos., handed over £68,860 for work that a surveyor later costed at just £250.
Another victim, an 88-year-old widow from Shurdington., Glos., who suffers from Alzheimer’s, handed over £39,700 for a job that was costed at £780.
An 88-year-old woman from Newent, Glos., spent £14,000, including £10,000 from her sister’s will, for roof repairs that should have cost £1,200.
The callous gang also charged an 83-year-old £39,100 for guttering work.
Stephen Mooney, prosecuting, said: ”These defendants were involved in a lengthy and determined conspiracy to identify elderly, vulnerable and trusting individuals with large savings available.
”They were targeted and persuaded to part with large sums of money for work done badly or not done at all.
”They returned to their victims to extract money over and over and over again.
”People in a confused state were preyed upon ruthlessly – it was both cruel and callous.”
David Evans was jailed for for six years and four months while his son Buddy Evans was jailed for five years and six months.
His other son Shannon Evans was imprisoned for three years and seven months for his involvement in the scams, and Patrick Maughan for two years and six months.
Steven Maloney, who was still a youth when he committed the crimes, was sentenced to 13 months in a young offenders institution.
A proceeds of crime hearing will be held on October 29th will be held to decide how much money the gang will have to pay back.