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Newcastle Rogue Roofer fleeced hero of his life savings

24 Sep
Newcastle Rogue Roofer fleeced hero of his life savings

TWISTED conman Joseph Ramsay is today behind bars after he fleeced a 90-year-old war hero out of his savings.The cowboy builder charged the widower more than 20 times the going rate for work on his roof.

The trusting pensioner was made to hand over more than £6,000 for work which was worth just £285.

Ramsay and another man turned up at the victim’s home in Blakelaw, Newcastle, offering to re-point his roof for £150. But once he had handed over the cash he was told more work needed doing and the bill rocketed to £6,000.

A court heard the victim, a former nurse, had saved up the money in case he needed to go into care and has been left penniless and feeling unsafe.

Now Ramsay, branded “depraved” by a judge, has been locked up for more than two years.

Judge Roger Thorn QC, at Newcastle Crown Court, told him: “You took his savings which he had saved to go to his old age and to pay for his care.

“This was an appalling breach of trust on an elderly man who relied on you to do roofing work for a reasonable sum.

“The sentence has to be significant to mark the depravity of what you did. In your heart of hearts you must know it is quite impossible to suspend the sentence given the nature of this terrible fraud.”

Related: Low Fell prescription pad thief caught after spelling error

The court heard the victim served his country during the second world war as a commando and was a Japanese PoW for two years. After the war he spent the rest of his working life as a nurse. His wife was badly injured in a car crash and he was her carer until she died 20 years ago.

In April 2010 he had the misfortune to be approached by Ramsay and his accomplice, who sensed an opportunity to take advantage of the man’s vulnerability.

They told him they would re-point his roof for £150 but after he handed over the cash he was spun a yarn about needing more work done.

He was even driven to a cashpoint by the villains, who made him hand over a further £6,000 in cash.

An expert who later examined the work said it was worth just £285.

Ramsay was stopped driving a transit van some time after the fraud and when police rang a number the cowboy builders had left with the 90-year-old, Ramsay’s phone rang.

Ramsay, 27, of Silver Lonnen, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to fraud and a separate charge of conspiracy to steal petrol and registration plates.

He was jailed for a total of 26 months.



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