'Rogue' builder jailed after scamming vulnerable for thousands

Damage caused to a roof during fraudulent work carried out by the companies of Ricki Paul Warby

Damage caused to a roof during fraudulent work carried out by the companies of Ricki Paul Warby - Credit: GGB Surveyors

A builder who fraudulently charged vulnerable residents thousands of pounds for unnecessary work has been jailed to four years and nine months. 

Ricki Paul Warby’s companies, in some cases, caused damage to Islington residents’ roofs in order to provide evidence that work needed to be done. 

Warby, 34, of St Albans, admitted six counts of fraudulent trading after his companies Hamilton Roofing and Building Services and Maynard Roofing collected £86,000 from six elderly victims.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard he would identify vulnerable individuals and then falsely persuade them that their roof was damaged and needed repair.

Judge Sandy Canavan said the victims were “particularly” vulnerable’ and called it a “sophisticated offence”, which was “all about fraud at the outset”.

Some victims were left with damaged roofs needing additional remedial works, the collective cost of which has been valued by an independent surveyor to be more than £70,000.

Islington Council’s trading standards team were alerted to Warby’s activities after a relative of an elderly resident called Citizens Advice consumer service to complain.

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Council officers visited the address and found a vehicle left there by Warby’s team. Business documents were seized from the vehicle, and contained information that allowed the investigating officers to widen their inquiry and to contact other victims.

As well as a custodial sentence, Mr Warby was banned from being a company director for seven years.

Cllr Diarmaid Ward said: “Islington Council is determined to ensure that everyone in our community should have a decent, safe and affordable place to call home.   

“In these offences, vulnerable people were deliberately sought out and in their own homes – where they should have been able to feel safe – were pressured and exploited. These were shameful offences, and thanks to the swift and careful actions of our Trading Standards team, the perpetrator has now been successfully prosecuted.

“We hope that this long prison sentence will send a clear message that this kind of exploitation will not be tolerated in Islington – if criminals target people in our community, we will take action, and we will come after you.”