Rogue Builder jailed at Cardiff Crown Court

ROGUE BUILDER David McAllister, 51, from Shirenewton, Cardiff, was sent to prison today at Cardiff Crown Court for 16 months for defrauding ‘elderly and vulnerable victims.'

The court heard that Mr McAllister attempted to defraud a total of £39,950 from three victims over a 6 month period, but was only able to collect a total of £23,100 before he was arrested by the police.

Between December 2016 and January 2017, the first victims - a couple in their 80's with memory issues - paid McAllister £18,850 for apparent work carried out to their roof. An independent surveyor gave evidence during the investigation that the only work that was found to have taken place at their address was pressure washing their drive at a value of £300.

In June 2017, the second victim, an elderly gentleman who lived alone, paid McAllister a total £4,250 for painting work to the front of his property. The Independent surveyor confirmed that the value of the work carried out was a mere £700.

The third victim, who was 79 and lived alone and suffered with mobility and other health issues was cold called by McAllister, who claimed, once again, that she needed work to her roof. The initial price for the work was estimated by McAllister at £8,500 but this soon doubled in value to £16,050. On the day that the money was due to be collected, the matter was reported to the police and David McAllister was arrested in the vicinity of the victim's home.

In each instance, David McAllister used a false alias and the court heard he had previous convictions for fraud, making false representation and theft.

Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member responsible for the Shared Regulatory Services at Cardiff Council, said: "This is a case when a man believed he had the right to target vulnerable and elderly people for work that wasn't required to their homes and charged and collected significant amounts of money.

"This money was these people's life savings and it sickens me that someone can have the audacity to carry out such crimes against such vulnerable members of our society.

"He now has time to reflect on what he has done in prison and I can assure Mr McAllister that if he breaches his Criminal Behaviour Order when he is released, he will be appearing in the dock again."

In sentencing, Judge Jeremy Jenkins referred to David McAllister as a "rogue builder, who prayed on elderly and vulnerable victims, charging exorbitant fees for work that didn't take place, or was carried out to a very poor standard."

"In each case, you used an alias to disguise your identity and it is my view, anyone who targets elderly or vulnerable people receives immediate imprisonment."

David McAllister was sentenced to two years imprisonment, reduced to 16 months through his early guilty plea.

A Criminal Behaviour Order was also made for three years which restricts McAllister from trading as a builder or cold calling without permission from the Shared Regulatory Services' Trading Standards. This legal order will come into place when David McAllister is released from prison.