Rouge trader jailed after targeting elderly

A “heartless” rogue trader who persistently targeted elderly people has been jailed.

Darren Moore, 57, was given a criminal behaviour order in 2016 after repeatedly defrauding vulnerable people.

Among other things, the order banned Moore from “cold calling” or undertaking any work for people over the age of 65. However, he repeatedly breached it.

Darren Moore has been jailed for one year and eight months. Picture: Cambridgeshire Police
Darren Moore has been jailed for one year and eight months. Picture: Cambridgeshire Police

In the first few months of this year, he went to the property of a man in his late 70s in Lynn unannounced. He completed work on the roof and gutters, charging an unknown amount.

Moore committed other similar offences across the country where he would visit elderly people’s homes and commit fraud.

He was jailed for a year and eight months at Peterborough Crown Court last Thursday.

Moore was caught on CCTV at an elderly resident's home. Picture: Cambridgeshire Police
Moore was caught on CCTV at an elderly resident’s home. Picture: Cambridgeshire Police

On 26 April, Moore went to home of a woman in her 80s in Teversham, Cambridgeshire claiming that he had cleaned out her gutters the previous week and she owed him £90.

The victim gave him £20 and stated that she didn’t have the full amount but Moore said he would return to collect the remaining balance. When a relative found out they contacted police.

Moore was captured on CCTV and he was later identified through a media appeal.

When officers went to Moore’s home in Gunhild Way, Cambridge, they discovered business cards for property maintenance and documents concerning work he had completed.

Officers contacted the people referenced in the documents and discovered multiple breaches of the court order.

In January he attended the property of a woman in her 80s who lived in Newmarket. He patched up a hole in a wall with cement, cut two small branches from a tree and charged the woman £300.

In the same month, he went to the home of a woman in her late 60s in Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire, claiming he could carry out damp-proof coursing work. The woman said she was interested but asked him to call back another time as she was going out and wanted to discuss a quote.

When she returned a couple of hours later Moore knocked on her door claiming to have carried out the work and demanding £900. The victim could not see any evidence the work had been completed and said she couldn’t afford to pay, but he agreed she could pay in instalments out of her pension. Moore returned multiple times, with the victim paying him £600 by the time he was apprehended.

In December he called at the home of a woman in her 70s in Cambridge. He cleaned out the gutters of the property and then repeatedly returned, asking for money.

Between the summer of last year and February this year, Moore completed work at the home of a man in his 80s in Cambridge. This included charging the man £250 for painting the wooden frames of three windows.

Moore admitted fraud by false representation, possession of an article for use in fraud and six breaches of a criminal behaviour order.

PC Ryan Parker said: “Moore is a persistent offender who heartlessly targets the elderly.

“He was fully aware of the terms of his criminal behaviour order, but simply ignored it and continued preying on vulnerable people.

“I’m pleased he was identified and has been brought to justice for his actions.”