Con-man Charles Johnson, of Justin Park Caravan Site, Market Harborough, is caught in the act
A con-man has been fined for taking money from an elderly man for unnecessary repair work on his house.
Charles Johnson, of Justin Park Caravan Site, Market Harborough, visited the 69-year-old man's home in Ketton, Rutland, in September and told him work needed to be done on his chimney.
Johnson agreed a price of £2,500 to do the work and immediately took the man to his bank to draw out a £500 deposit.
The man later contacted Peterborough City Council's Trading Standards department because he was concerned he would be forced to hand over more money.
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Trading standards arranged for a local surveyor to inspect the property, and he confirmed that no work needed to be done.
When Johnson and his team of workmen returned to collect the rest of the money and start the work, they were met by trading standards officer and police who arrested them.
At Leicester Magistrates' Court, Johnson pleaded guilty to misleading a consumer about work that needed to be done on their home, and failing to give cancellation rights.
He was sentenced to repay £500 to the man, fined £500 and ordered to pay £500 prosecution costs.
Inspector Kam Mistry, Rutland police commander, said: "This was a potentially nasty crime involving a vulnerable member of the community.
"Fortunately he had the presence of mind to seek help, which meant we and our trading standards colleagues were waiting for the con-man when he returned to the house.
"I would urge anyone to be wary of anyone calling at your home to offer services, particularly ones you are not aware that you need."