'Despicable' cowboy builder jailed for fleecing elderly victims

‘Despicable’ cowboy builder, 53, who fleeced elderly victims out of £300,000 is jailed for three years for same scam – just weeks after release from prison

  • Alan Fitzgerald, 53, was originally jailed for six years in 2014 for conning 39 elderly victims out of £300,000 for bogus building work
  • Just weeks after his release, he started preying on the old and vulnerable again
  • 25 of Fitzgerald’s latest victims were aged over 60 or suffered from disability
  • A judge described him as ‘despicable’ as he sentenced him to 40 months in jail 

Alan Fitzgerald, 53, has been jailed for over three years for swindling dozens of elderly victims out of thousands of pounds for bogus building work 

A ‘despicable’ cowboy builder who fleeced dozens of elderly people out of thousands of pounds has been jailed for more than three years.

Swindler Alan Fitzgerald, 53, was originally jailed for six years in 2014 for conning 39 elderly victims out of £300,000 by posing as a builder.

But just weeks after being released from prison, Fitzgerald started cold-calling vulnerable people once again.

Fitzgerald, of Rushden in Northamptonshire, admitted 10 charges relation to exploiting the elderly last month.

He also asked for 24 more offences, in which he conned £14,000 from his victims, to be taken into consideration.

The bogus builder was jailed for 40 months at Northampton Crown Court on Monday. Judge Richard Bray said Fitzgerald’s crimes were ‘truly despicable.’

Of the 34 victims targeted by Fitzgerald, 25 were aged over 60 or suffering from a mobility or cognitive disability.

One woman was told her conservatory was not fitted properly and required a box which would cost her £475.

He was sentenced to 40 months in prison for his latest offences at Northampton Crown Court (pictured) on Monday 

Another man was told if he paid £250 to have a front porch door replaced it would be used as a show home and the victim would receive £150.

One victim was told to hand over £350 up front, while another was taken to a cash machine after Fitzgerald demanded immediate payment. On another occasion, he stole a 73-year-old victim’s car.

At his original trial six years ago, jurors heard how Fitzgerald preyed on the elderly and the infirm by telling them their homes needed urgent repairs.

One victim handed over £39,000 while a 94-year-old woman gave Fitzgerald £6,000 after he told her she had asbestos in her home and would be prosecuted if she didn’t pay.

In many cases, the work was either botched or not finished.

Sergeant Chris Stevens, of Northamptonshire Police, said: ‘Alan Fitzgerald is a repeat and prolific offender who preyed on the elderly and the vulnerable to mercilessly scam them out of their hard-earned money.’

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