Video shows group of ‘cowboy’ builders ‘bodging’ roof work while mocking their elderly customer
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A video shows young cowboy builders filming themselves mocking an elderly customer while ‘bodging’ a job on the roof of a bungalow. The three workers in the video have been jailed after they filmed the video bragging about ripping off a victim, saying he is “really old”.
Phone footage shows the three men, Matty Rossiter, 18. James Rossiter, and Dean Smith, 21, bragging about their exploits, saying “we find guys like this every day” by “door-to-door knocking”. The film also shows them on the roof demanding “quite a lot of money” for their services from the elderly man, John Bray, 82.
The trio charged Mr Bray £8,000 for replacing a few tiles. In total, the group made £45,000 from crimes committed in 18 properties around Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Bristol between October 2020 and March 2021.
In the video, one of them says: "As you can see we’re doing some roofing work here. We’re doing some bodging.
"As you see, what we’re doing is we are in some bungalows. We’ve got two vans on the go - and as you can see, the guy we’re working for, he’s really old."
The individual then taunts John, from Calne, Wiltshire, saying: "John, we’re having quite a lot of money for this, aren’t we? So we want to do you a good job. It’s worth doing right, isn’t it?
"It’s your home, you need to live in it. So you don’t want any more problems on the roof after we’re gone, do you?"
The cameraman then turns to look at the badly repaired roof, before adding: "As you can see here, we don’t need to pay thousands for advertisement. It’s on the door-to-door knocking, what I’ve done for all my life, and we find guys like this every day.
“The door-to-door knocking. It’s the way forward."
The repair work was later labelled by a chartered surveyor called by Wiltshire Trading Standards as "abysmal". The surveyor said the job was "carried out with no attendant skill or competence" and "probably without the use of appropriate hand tools.”
On several occasions the group knocked on the doors of elderly people and told them that their roofs needed repairing - before overcharging them by thousands. The group also used multiple names for their business varying by county, including Southern Homecare, Chippenham Roofing, Skyline Roofing, Wiltshire Roofing and Yate Roofing.
Mr Bray’s son, Steve, told the BBC that the group were “despicable”, and that he believed the fraud had contributed to the death of his mother. He told the BBC: "They made a video laughing and joking, insulting my dad, laughing and joking while they were doing more damage.
"The feelings my parents had - the shame and embarrassment - my mum took that feeling to her grave. That’s the worst part."
Matty and James Rossiter, both from Minety, in Wiltshire, admitted fraud by false representation and participating in a fraudulent business. Matty Rossiter was jailed for two years and three months for the offence, and aged just 16 was one of the youngest offenders Wiltshire Trading Standards had discovered.
James Rossiter was also sentenced to three years and four months in jail, while Dean Smith, from Aldermaston, Berkshire, was sentenced to three years after pleading guilty to participating in a fraudulent business.
Judge Jason Taylor at Swindon Crown Court labelled the trio “industrial scale” rogue builders, and reprimanded them for their “arrogance” after laughing at their victim. He said during his remarks: "Over several months you mainly targeted elderly people and you viewed them as easy targets due to their vulnerability and felt no guilt about taking advantage of them.
“Your arrogance is notable. There was significant planning. You knew the bungalows you targeted would be occupied by the elderly."