Rogue traders who ripped off vulnerable and elderly people in and around Bristol have been jailed.
Brothers Michael and Richard Coffey were directors of MRC Roofing and Building Ltd, Bristol Crown Court heard.
Between them they scammed £44,600 from customers for poor quality roofing work which needed more money to put right.
Michael Coffey, 29, and Richard Coffey, 25, both of Northwood Park, Old Gloucester Road, Winterbourne, both pleaded guilty to participating in a fraudulent business.
The Recorder of Bristol His Honour Judge Peter Blair QC jailed Michael for two years and two months and Richard for 18 months.
The judge said: “There was detrimental impact on the victims, financially and otherwise.
“People have had many, many nights of lost sleep, self-doubt and trepidation about opening the door to others.”
He disqualified the men from being company directors or approaching UK home owners for the purpose of roofing or building work, both bans to run for seven years.
A mention under the Proceeds of Crime Act, to claw back the men’s ill-gotten gains, was set for July 14.
Lee Reynolds, prosecuting, told the court: “They are brothers.
“They worked in a dishonest, deliberate and calculated way over a sustained period.
“The customers numbered 20 in all and there was a very similar pattern.
“The defendants offered a reasonable price for roofing work.
“Having indicated a reasonable price the defendanrs would then claim further essential and expensive repair work was required.
“This would always be at a time when customers, some elderly and vulnerable, felt at the mercy of the defendants.”
The court heard customers as old as 90 fell victim to the traders in Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, Wiltshire, Somerset, South Gloucestershire and as far away as Enfield.
Having been initially lured by cheap quotes for work people were then asked for more money, the court heard, and some were taken to banks to withdraw it.
Time and time again chartered surveyors assessed work carried out and said it had nil value, but necessitated proper work to rectify.
In one case, the court heard, a ceiling collapsed into a customer’s bedroom.
In another case the customer was asked for money before work was done and another customer was left with rain water directed from their home to the property next door.
The court was told Michael Coffey had previous convictions for dishonesty and public order offences but Richard Coffey just had a caution for making off without payment.
Charles Digby, defending father-of-three Michael Coffey, said:
“This was a litany of transactions which were obviously very bad.
“My client accepts that.
“He is fully contrite about that.
“I accept that this offending crosses the custody threshold.”
Mr Digby said his client entered an early guilty plea, had shown genuine remorse and “could not apologise enough” for conduct he conceded was disgraceful.
Pina Silvio, defending father-of-two Richard Coffey, said: “He’s not offended before.
“He’s not capable of setting up his own business.
“It went wholly wrong.”
Frank Boardman, of the South West Investigation Team which works with Trading Standards, said: “This was despicable activity to vulnerable people, two who were in their 90s.
“Work was not only incompetent, it was unnecessary and they were basically preying on the vulnerable.
“I’m delighted to say we are seeking compensation on behalf of these victims – £35,000 is in restraint and they’ll get a large amount back.
“Two people have now been sent to prison and it sends out a message to people who have got dishonest intent that we will investigate.”