Kevin Sherwood, aged 61 and of Wimborne Road, Bournemouth, and Kevin Mark Sherwood, also known as Kevin Doe, aged 39 and of Craigmoor Avenue, Bournemouth, were sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Tuesday 18 May 2021. They had both been found guilty following a trial at the same court of two charges of fraud by false representation.
They were both sentenced to three years and six months in prison.
In July 2017 Dorset Police received a banking protocol notification in relation to cash withdrawals made by a man aged in his 80s from Corfe Mullen. The banking protocol scheme is a partnership between police and local banks that sees staff trained to spot concerning transactions where vulnerable people may be falling victim to fraud.
The bank told officers that the man had wanted to withdraw £5,000 for gardening work but when asked for more details he did not actually seem to understand what work the money would cover, as he had not received a proper quote or breakdown of costs. As a result of the concerns raised police were called and spoke with him.
The victim said that some time ago he had been experiencing problems with his roof. He had approached some men who were doing work on a neighbour’s property and asked them to look at his roof.
The men told him it needed a lot of work and they would let him know the costs as they went along.
Over a period of several months he said two or three men carried out work on his roof and decking in his garden and he paid them in cash for various things as they went along.
He could not say exactly how much he had paid, but enquiries indicated withdrawals amounting to £50,000 had been identified as leaving the victim’s account and going into Sherwood Jr’s bank account.
The jury found that the defendants had falsely represented that £50,000 was a fair price. The court heard evidence that a chartered surveyor attended the addresses to assess the works that had been carried out. He estimated that a reasonable price for the work carried out at the property was £8,600 plus VAT.
A second victim, a man aged in his 70s from Poole, reported that over the summer of 2017 a man knocked on his door and claimed he had noticed one of the victim’s roof tiles had come off.
The man offered to have a roofing company come and take a look and the victim agreed. The man identified himself as Kevin Sherwood.
The victim was initially quoted £14,800 for work that needed doing on the roof and a further £6,800 for replacing a brick wall around the boundary of his property.
The victim subsequently agreed for further work to be carried out at the property.
The jury found that the defendants had falsely represented that £76,800 was a fair price. A chartered surveyor estimated that a reasonable charge for the work carried out at the property was £40,000.
Detective Constable Jo Poultney, of Bournemouth CID, said: “These defendants targeted vulnerable elderly victims and massively overcharged them for work carried out on their home.
“I am pleased that through our enquiries we were able to prove their fraudulent business practices so they could be held accountable for their actions.
“I would urge anyone with concerns about vulnerable neighbours or relatives who are potentially being targeted by rogue traders in this manner to please contact us.
“We would always advise against accepting work from doorstep traders. If you think a job needs doing, we would suggest getting multiple quotes from reputable traders and take time to think it over.”