A fraudster who overcharged an elderly West Berkshire resident to the tune of £1,250 for gardening work has been ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service.
Noah Kempster, 47, of Kybes Lane in Grazeley, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court having pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation.
It relates to work he carried out at a house in Beenham in 2015, where a vulnerable woman in her 80s was living.
An investigation by Trading Standards and Thames Valley Police found that Kempster had cold-called the woman in July 2015, offering to do work around the garden for £800.
He returned two months later and said he had carried out a further £1,500 of work.
But the investigation found that a significant portion of the work Kempster had claimed to have carried out had in fact been done by another person previously.
Kempster admitted that this amounted to an overcharge of £500 for the work in July and £750 for September’s work.
Passing sentence, judge Paul Dugdale said that Kempster knew he had overcharged the victim and knew of her vulnerability.
As well as the 100-hour community order, Kempster is also repaying the entire £2,300 sum of the work in compensation.
Marcus Franks, West Berkshire Council’s executive member for public protection, said: “This was a cynical crime perpetrated on a vulnerable consumer.
“The investigation revealed a person who having defrauded the victim once returned to do it again.
“We would urge people who have concerns that they, their friends, neighbours or relatives may be the victim of doorstep crime to contact Trading Standards on 01635 519930 or the police immediately.
“We will continue to work with our partners from the police to ensure these types of crimes are investigated wherever possible.”