A MAN from Salisbury who was jailed last year for causing death by careless driving and perverting the course of justice has been given a further prison sentence for defrauding elderly victims.
Noah Chapman, 24, hit cyclist Richard White while driving his van on the A338 near Fordingbridge and left him dying in the road. Despite trying to cover his tracks, police were able to find him and in December he was jailed for three years.
On Wednesday he received a 12 month sentence at Bournemouth Crown Court after admitting two charges of fraud by false representation, two offences of fraud by failing to disclose information and criminal damage.
The court was told on March 17, 2016, he visited the home of a couple in their 80s in the Poole area pretending to work for the council and left a flyer with his mobile number.
Returning the next day with another man, he cut down a tree at the back of their home belonging to the local authority.
He then told the victims he would cut down some other branches and charged them £1,000 in cash.
Four days later he went back to the couple with another man, claiming they had cut down the wrong tree but the victims declined further work and left a message on the mobile number they had been given asking the pair not to return.
When another man called 'Mo' visited the couple three days after that saying he was there to take a branch down, the victims refused to let him do the work and said they would report him if he did not leave.
The Borough of Poole Council later confirmed one of their trees had been felled illegally in the area and the work had been done without any safety assessments, the court was told.
The court heard that Chapman also targeted a second victim in the Poole area, an 82-year-old woman.
He visited her home on March 29, 2016, with another man and gave her an estimate for gardening work.
Refusing payment by cheque, they drove the victim to a cashpoint in their van and she withdrew £500 for them. The men then left and never returned.
Chapman was arrested on May 16,2016 and was later charged with the offences.
Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, of Dorset Police, said: “These were despicable crimes against elderly victims.
“Rogue traders such as Chapman specifically target the older generation, who on occasions can be talked into accepting works at their properties.
“I want to thank the victims and their families for assisting with us with this investigation.
“I would also ask the public to call police with any concerns regarding elderly or vulnerable neighbours who they think are being targeted by rogue traders.
“Registration numbers and flyers are a good line of enquiry for us.
“Cold calling itself it not illegal but a trader that ignores a sticker or notice on your door stating that you do not wish to receive cold calls may be committing a criminal offence.
“Anyone who sells you goods or services, such as gardening work, that cost more than £42 must provide you with a written notice giving you 14 days to cancel the agreement.
“Anyone who fails to give this notice will also be committing a criminal offence, which Trading Standards can investigate.
“Never accept work from anyone who offers it over the phone or at your door.
“Never go to the bank with a tradesperson or give them your account details.
“Never let anyone into your property unless you know them.
“Do not hesitate to ask a tradesman to wait on the doorstep while you check their validity."
For further information visit www.dorset.police.uk or www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/trading-standards.
Chapman's 12-month sentence will be served consecutively to his three-year jail term.