Fraudster tradesmen ‘preyed on the elderly’

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TWO tradesmen have been found guilty of fraud, unfair trading and money laundering after conning elderly people out of thousands of pounds for work carried out across Oxfordshire.

Trevor Bateman, 54, and David Merriman, 49, who ran AS Contractors out of Oxford, were found guilty of 40 counts at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday last week.

During the four-week trial, the court heard how the pair took £47,000 from an 80-year-old woman for work a surveyor valued at £8,320. Work included a new bathroom, conservatory and solar panels.

Neither the conservatory or the solar heating were completed, and the victim paid a further £5,500 to another firm to finish the conservatory.

Offences took place at 10 Oxfordshire homes. Bateman and Merriman were released on bail and are due to be sentenced on Monday, January 9.