David Vincent Snr, 50, and his 26-year-old son, also called David, ripped off Robert Etheridge to the tune of £6,000 by convincing him he needed urgent building work done on his home in Dartford, Kent.

As part of the ploy, the father and son pair, together with another man, conned the 60-year-old  into believing his loft was rotten and infested with rodents, bird nests and maggots – also claiming that part of the roof needed to be replaced.

The trio posed as workers with Ideal Home Improvement, donning fake uniforms and even showing their victim dead rats in an attempt to get £13,000 from him.

The scam was only uncovered when concerned Mr Etheridge contacted his insurance company, who in turn alerted police.

The court case comes just weeks after Henry Vincent, 37, was fatally stabbed after breaking into the Hither Green home of pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks.

Maidstone Crown Court today heard that the group returned again and again to the Kent home, telling their victim that they needed more money as part of the scheme in November last year.

But the plot came tumbling down today as the father and son, from Orpington in Kent, together with 36-year-old John Baker, of Eltham, south east London, admitted fraud.

Vincent Snr, who has a previous conviction for a similar cowboy builder scam, was jailed for 21 months.

Father of three Vincent Jnr was sentenced to 18 months behind bars.

Baker, a dad of two, was also jailed for 18 months.

The group were today slammed in court as they were jailed, with the Judge Philip Statman saying they intimidated their victim.

Judge Statman today said: "You tricked your victim into believing that there had been some form of damage which may have been caused by a pigeon, that there was rot in the roof and furthermore, there was an infestation.

"You came along at various times to the home address and certain works were performed but not to an appropriate standard by any means. To put it in its most neutral form, any work that had been done was a botched job.

"Your victim describes how your visits made him feel intimidated. This was all three of you taking on different roles as part of a joint enterprise to embark upon what was clearly a scam…You were all in it together.

"This was deliberate targeting of a victim and he was a vulnerable person at the time."

Kent Police Investigating Officer Detective Constable Iain Joyce said: "All three targeted the victim again and again, each time coming up with even more elaborate excuses to convince the victim to hand over more cash.

"They abused his trust and showed no regard for the impact of their actions."

If you suspect rogue traders are operating in your area, or you believe a neighbour or someone on your street is a victim of rogue trading, please call us on 101, of if the suspects are still at the scene call 999.

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