A trader who conned an elderly Silloth resident out of more than £5,000 was prosecuted on Tuesday, November 21.

Maurice James Jesse Penfold, of London, pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court, on November 21, to six offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Act 2008.

The charges relate to property maintenance and upgrade jobs Penfold carried out in August 2021 when the victim paid £5,350.

Penfold had been employed to increase the insulation and to soundproof the elderly gentleman’s static home.

Penfold quoted high prices for unnecessary work and carried out the work to low standard. The materials used were inferior to those he quoted for.

Penfold claimed to have 25 years’ experience and to be a member of the Guild of Master craftsmen.

He also claimed that the roof coating would be 3mm thick, the work carried out would decrease heat loss by at least 40 per cent, the price charged was fair and reasonable and that the products used were of good quality.

All claims were proved to be untrue in court and sentencing has been adjourned until January 9, 2024.

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Bob Kelly, executive portfolio holder for policy and regulatory services, said: This is a typical example of unscrupulous tradesmen taking advantage of elderly, vulnerable, consumers – a practice which blights our communities.

“This type of activity will not be tolerated in Cumberland.

“Our trading standards team is incredibly proactive and diligent and will take action against anyone thinking of taking advantage of our people.”

To report a rogue trader in Cumberland, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.