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37-year-old jailed for egregious robber who fled £25,000 for just £300 job from pensioner

A 37-year-old robber who escaped £25,000 from a pensioner for just £300 work has been jailed for causing ‘misery and stress’ to his victims

  • George Austin, 37, persuaded 64-year-old victim to agree to work
  • Lancaster’s Austin told her the already good roof needed to be replaced

A rogue trader who fled £25,000 to get a £320 job from a pensioner has been jailed after inflicting ‘misery and stress’ on his victims.

George Austin, 37, offered a lower price when he persuaded his victims that they needed a new roof, but quickly raised it to a staggering £25,000.

Austin of Lancaster persuaded the 64-year-old victim to agree to work on the doorstep after telling him the roof needed to be replaced.

He went on to demand £25,000 and then disappeared after she refused to pay the extra £5,000.

Austin was exposed after a woman living with his elderly father reported him to the Lancashire Trading Standards.

37-year-old George Austin (pictured) offered a lower price when he convinced his victims that they needed a new roof, but quickly raised the price to a staggering £25,000.

The roof was deemed suitable for the next 40 to 50 years and the Trading Standards Inspector said no work over £300 had been done.

District Court Judge Healy sentenced the robber to 10 months in prison, saying he was “a classic example of a rogue trader who inflicted misery and stress on his victims.”

In a statement read to Preston Criminal Court, the victim feels exploited by Austin and believes Austin took advantage of her grief after losing her mother.

Another victim of another crime claimed Austin made his wife feel “broken”, while another said her wife’s personality changed as a result of her experience with a rogue trader.

Austin blamed the bereavement of his family for the crime, claiming it led him to drink and put himself before others.

The robber also said he was really sorry. After the hearing, Lancashire MP Michael Green said: “This is another shocking example of a dishonest trader who has been sent to prison for cheating vulnerable consumers in his own home. The action caused serious damage to many Lancashire victims.

A hearing to return the money Austin stole from his victims is expected later this year.

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