Heartache for family of Colburn victim of rogue traders who never saw justice

From left, David Mason, Christopher Scott, Adam Godley and Gary Russell.

The brother of an elderly victim who was conned out of his life savings by a gang of rogue traders has spoken of his sorrow that his sibling died before the offenders were brought to justice.

The 89-year-old victim was repeatedly targeted by the gang and duped out of more than £23,000 after being taken to his bank a total of nine times to withdraw his life savings.

David Mason, Gary Russell, Christopher Scott and Adam Godley have now been sentenced after they all pleaded guilty to the scam to carry out poor quality repairs on households across the North of England.

However, the pensioner, who lived in Colburn in North Yorkshire, died before the four defendants were brought to justice.

In a statement read to Teesside Crown Court in Middlesbrough, the elderly victim’s brother, who has asked not to be named, said: “Over a prolonged period he became a victim of fraud and was repeatedly asked for money, pressurised, and driven to the bank to make high value cash withdrawals. He lost his life savings.

“He was a proud man and I didn’t find out he had been conned until it was too late. I don’t think he ever came to terms with it and he became more and more anxious.

“He was unable to continue with his normal way of life and had to move into warden-controlled housing, and then a nursing home when he was diagnosed with cancer, where he sadly passed away.

“He never got to see justice done, but had a deep sense of right and wrong and would have wanted to see these people brought to justice.

“I am delighted and very grateful that trading standards pursued this case on his behalf and that justice has been achieved for him and the other victims.”

The brother described his sibling as an “intelligent man” who worked as a radar operator on fighter aircraft for the RAF, before joining the Lancashire Fusiliers Infantry and then the civil service.

He was “very proud” of his public service and his travel to Malaysia, Borneo and Hong Kong, according to his brother.

The victim, who had issues with his memory, was driven to his bank nine times in a van and made to withdraw his life savings in cash, totalling £23,950

Mason, 41, of Harlech Court, Ingleby Barwick, Russell, 45, of no fixed abode, Scott, 43, who is currently an inmate of HMP Holme House after being convicted of unrelated offences, and Godley, 33, of Yarm, have been sentenced at Teesside Crown Court in Middlesbrough.

The four defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud a total of 22 householders out of tens of thousands of pounds by carrying out shoddy repairs to homes between September 1, 2017, and October 18, 2018.

The offences were carried out at properties in North Yorkshire, York, Cleveland and Durham.

The campaign of exploitation against vulnerable and elderly victims saw the gang of fraudsters glean at least £51,735 from their offending.