A MAN has been jailed for his part in fleecing pensioners out of tens of thousands of pounds for unecessary building work.
Roofer Mark Bundock, 27, of Berkley Close, High Woods, Colchester, did the work to a poor standard at an inflated cost that rose as the job progressed.
He was part of a gang that targeted homes in Clacton, Great Totham, Galleywood and Ipswich.
They tricked householders out of more than £84,000 between May and October 2010, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Bundock was jailed for two years and six months after he admitted five offences of participating in a fraudulent business and one of money laundering.
He also admitted possession of three small amounts of illegal drugs discovered when police searched his home.
Andrew Shaw, prosecuting, told the court a gang based in the Tiptree area had employed Bundock to carry out roofing and other repairs to the homes of pensioners.
A couple in Great Totham were forced to borrow £40,000 against their mortgage for roofing repairs.
Mr Shaw said it appeared the problems had deliberately been created by the gang who had loosened tiles.
Another victim, Robert Hall, 85, from Galleywood, has since died since he handed over £6,000.
Mr Shaw said surveyors reported poor workmanship and in some cases problems that had been created by the repairs, which would cost additional money.
Bundock was identified from descriptions given by witnesses and a photo of him taken by the neighbour of an 83-year-old victim who had become suspicious.
Matthew Pardoe, mitigating, claimed Bundock was not involved in arranging the work and had worked for the gang as and when required.
Bundock had felt unable to leave and it had been some relief when he was arrested, he said Mr Pardoe described Bundock as a bit part player and had expressed genuine remorse.
Judge Peter Thompson said a prison term was unavoidable for such serious offending involving repeatedly targeting elderly people.
* Stephen Van Der Vord, 52, of Victoria Chase, Colchester, was jailed for six months after he admitted fraud by false representation.
He had arranged for a couple in Great Totham to borrow £40,000 against their mortgage to pay for the work done by the gang Bundock was with.
He had failed to reveal he was not approved by the Financial Services Authority despite a claim to that effect on his business card.
David Howell, mitigating, said Van Der Vord was not connected with any of the building works and, even though he misrepresented himself, he usedreputable solicitors and banks.
Mr Howell said Van Der Vord, who has a previous fraud conviction, was bankrupt and owed £30,000 to the Inland Revenue.