Men jailed after Aylesbury court hears how they conned the elderly in fraudulent home improvement scheme

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“This is a shocking case, with vulnerable, elderly residents ruthlessly targeted as easy prey”

Two men have been jailed for conning elderly residents in a fraudulent home improvement scheme.

On Friday (10 March) at Aylesbury Crown Court James John Caleb Sheen of Warren Crescent, Oxford and Michael Steven Jones of Divinity Road, Oxford, were given prison sentences.

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They were convicted of committing a number of crimes relating to their scheme which involved conning victims out of large amounts of money.

James John Caleb SheenJames John Caleb Sheen
James John Caleb Sheen

During the sentencing hearing, the court heard how threatening behaviour was used towards elderly and vulnerable clients.

Their victims were told that they needed improvement works to their homes.

Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards launched an investigation into the pair’s scheme.

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Principle Home Improvements Ltd was the name of the company the Oxford men used for their operation with Sheen registered as director of Principle Home Developments and Jones listed as sole director of Principle Home Improvements.

Sheen had direct contact with the victims in discussing the works and payments.

A total of six victims were cited in the case, including one from Prestwood in Buckinghamshire. Other victims lived in Didcot, Oxford, Reading and Stanmore.

All were retired and some of them were deemed as vulnerable.

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Sheen was described as using threatening behaviour to his victims to force them to pay up. In total, the offenders must pay a £198,000 compensation fee to their victims.

Proceeds Of Crime Act proceedings to recoup further money are ongoing, Trading Standards has confirmed.

Sheen and Jones were charged with:

-Fraud, by falsely claiming that work was required

-Fraud, by grossly overcharging for work

-Failing to carry out work to a professional standard

-Charging for work that was not requested or agreed by the customer

Councillor Mark Winn said: “This is a shocking case, with vulnerable, elderly residents ruthlessly targeted as easy prey by these criminals.

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“It’s been appalling and saddening to hear the details of how these people went about this criminal activity, deliberately targeting and threatening these vulnerable people - this was not a case of a genuine builder making a few mistakes, Sheen in particular is a career criminal deliberately defrauding elderly people out of significant sums of money.

“I would like to thank our trading standards officers, legal teams and the courts for bringing these individuals to justice for these appalling crimes.”

Sheen was sentenced to two years imprisonment on each offence, but was also sentenced to 17 years and 4 months for his leading role in a series of atm thefts.

He will serve his further jail term concurrently but consecutive to the 17 years 4 months he is currently serving in prison for other offences.

Jones was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.

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If you think that you have been the victim of doorstep crime like this, you should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or online.

> Keep up to date with the latest, breaking news from Aylesbury Vale and beyond right here on The Bucks Herald website