by Julia Roberts
Two bogus builders who persistently conned elderly people out of more than £800,000 were jailed for a total of seven years today.
Moses Mead, 25, of Springhead Road, Northfleet, and Christopher Latty, 38, of Victoria Street, Gillingham, tricked their victims into believing their homes were in imminent danger of collapse.
The pensioners ended up paying for costly and unnecessary repairs.
One victim in his 60s handed over £522,807, while an 80-year-old man from Walderslade paid out £232,000.
Victims were targetted throughout Kent, south east London, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Hampshire.
Mead and Latty were arrested in Cambridge in January.
Today, at Maidstone Crown Court, Mead was jailed for four years having pleaded guilty to 11 offences of fraud by misrepresentation between April 2007 and January 2010.
Latty admitted two charges of fraud by misrepresentation between the same dates and was jailed for three years.
Jailing them, Judge Martin Joy said the scam had a great impact on their victims, who were aged between 66 and 91.
"You have pleaded guilty to substantial, serious, significant, determined and persistent offences of dishonesty, of fraud.
"The victims were, in the majority, elderly and vulnerable... A real persistent dishonesty was demonstrated on the part of each of you."
Mead, who has a previous conviction for a similar con trick in 2006, was the main organiser of the fraud and used various aliases throughout.
Upon his release he will be subject to a Serious Crime Prevention Order for three years.
It is one of the first to be imposed and includes a condition that he does not associate with Latty.
Latty acted as a "site foreman" or a courier to collect cash from the homeowners. He was described by one of his victims as an "errand boy".
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