A group of cowboy builders filmed themselves bragging about ripping off the elderly with expensive “bodges” in a sickening video of them openly mocking a retiree to his face.
Phone footage shows Matty Rossiter, 18, James Rossiter, 25, and Dean Smith, 21, mocking and laughing at John Bray, 82, as they replaced a handful of tiles on his roof for £8,000.
At one point they asked him, “John, don’t we have quite a lot of money for this?” as he chuckled at the lack of work they were doing on his Wiltshire bungalow.
One of them even put an arm around him as they ripped him off and said, “We find guys like this every day.”
Mr Bray’s son Steve told the BBC the group was ‘despicable’ and that he believed his mother’s death was partly due to the fraud.
The con artists have been jailed after making £45,000 from crimes committed at 18 properties in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Bristol.
The group mocked John Bray in his own garden when they swindled him out of £8,000
The men said they “offered” with just a few new tiles, but charged a fortune
They filmed themselves on the roof and demanded “quite a lot of money” for their services from 82-year-old Bray.
The trio made £45,000 from crimes committed at 18 properties across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Bristol between October 2020 and March 2021.
On the telephone footage, one of them says: ‘As you can see, we are doing roofing work here. We do some bodging.
‘As you can see, we’re in a few bungalows.
“We have two vans on the way – and as you can see, the man we work for is very old.”
The individual then calls out to John, from Calne, Wiltshire, and says, ‘John, we’ve got quite a lot of money for this, haven’t we?’
He adds, “So we want to do a good job for you. It’s worth getting it right, isn’t it?
It’s your house, you have to live in it. So you don’t want any more trouble on the roof while we’re gone, do you?’
The camera then pans to look at the badly repaired roof, before the cameraman adds: ‘As you can see here, we don’t have to pay thousands of euros for advertising.
“It’s door-to-door knocking, which I’ve done all my life, and we find guys like this every day. Knocking from door to door. It’s the way forward.’
The work was later labeled “bottomless” by a chartered surveyor named by Wiltshire Trading Standards.
It was ‘carried out without associated skill or competence’ and ‘probably without the use of suitable hand tools’.
On several occasions, the group knocked on the doors of the elderly and told them their roofs needed repair – before overcharging them by the 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.
He told the BBC: ‘They made a video of them laughing and joking, insulting my dad, laughing and joking while doing more damage.
“The feelings my parents had – the shame and embarrassment – my mother took that feeling to her grave. That’s the worst.’
A pair of tiles that the cowboy builders replaced for a king’s ransom
Matty and James Rossiter, both of Minety, in Wiltshire, admitted fraud through false statements and participation in a fraudulent enterprise.
Matty Rossiter was jailed for two years and three months for the offence, and at just 16 years old was one of the youngest offenders Wiltshire Trading Standards had discovered.
James Rossiter also received three years and four months in prison, while Dean Smith, of Aldermaston, Berkshire, was sentenced to three years after pleading guilty to participating in a fraudulent enterprise.
Judge Jason Taylor of Swindon Crown Court branded the trio as rogue builders on an industrial scale and reprimanded them for their ‘arrogance’ after making fun of their victim.
He said: ‘For several months you mainly targeted older people and you viewed them as easy targets because of their vulnerability and you felt no guilt about abusing them.
“Your arrogance is remarkable. There was a lot of planning. You knew the bungalows you focused on would be inhabited by the elderly.’