‘Bully boy’ trader given prison term

Steven Lee Snr has been jailed for 18 months
Steven Lee Snr has been jailed for 18 months

A rogue tradesman has been jailed for 18 months for conning vulnerable pensioners into handing over thousands of pounds for shoddy repairs.

Roofer Steven Lee Snr, 52, targeted elderly people on their doorsteps – including one in St Annes – just weeks after being released from jail for similar offences.

The defendant and his son both worked as roofers under the business names ‘Skyline Roof Contractors’ and ‘Prestige’

The father-of-five is now beginning one of the longest prison sentences Lancashire Trading Standards has ever secured for a bogus workman, after admitting knowingly participating in a fraudulent business, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.

Preston Crown Court heard Lee, who is from an Irish travelling family, had targeted people between August 2013 and 2014, including victims in Preston, St Annes, Lymm and a 90-year-old man in Ormskirk.

Recorder Sally Hatfield QC, sitting at Preston Crown Court, said she did not accept he had not targeted his victims deliberately, adding: “I doubt your remorse.”

She said his pre-sentence report indicated he did not regret the work he had done.

Prosecuting, David Traynor said: “The defendant and his son both worked as roofers under the business names ‘Skyline Roof Contractors’ and ‘Prestige’.

“In essence, the businesses with which this defendant was involved were engaged in cold calling on consumers and when they got the opportunity they would either do unnecessary work or vastly overcharge for work which was done.

“Additionally, customers were provided with an impressive looking ’10 year guarantee’ document which when called upon was found to be worthless.”

He described how an 84-year-old man had paid Lee £3,800 for no more than £200 of work.

Fulwood grandmother Judith Hughes also paid £2,200 for work which Lee never completed.

The work was so shoddy the retired teacher was unable to open her upstairs windows.

She said: “He was a bully boy, in the end I was afraid of him, afraid he would come back and do something to the house.

“They demanded cash off me and when I said I didn’t have it, his son said he would accompany me to a cash machine, which I felt worried about.”

The judge ordered Lee, of Rosemary Lane, Bartle, near Preston, to pay a total of £18,570 compensation to his victims and a £100 surcharge.

Steven Lee junior, of the same address, has signed a legal undertaking, under the Enterprise Act 2002 as to his future behaviour and the prosecution did not seek to proceed with the charge against him.