THE son of an elderly dementia sufferer who is systematically targeted by rogue traders and rip-off merchants branded them “worse than leeches”.
The 86-year-old widow, who lives in north Leeds, had a narrow escape from serial conman Andrew Roberton after he was caught trying to sign her up for double glazing that she didn’t need.
Her son spoke out after a Leeds Crown Court judge jailed 40-year-old Roberton, who fleeced thousands of pounds from elderly victims in Leeds and across West Yorkshire, for more than two years.
After the court hearing, the son said his mother is among many vulnerable people on a “hit list” compiled by traders who are looking for easy targets as they operate on the fringes of the law.
The man, who asked not to be identified, said: “If you are capable of taking large sums of money from an elderly person, who doesn’t know what they are doing because they have an illness - and that person could be your mother or grandmother - an extended holiday at Armley prison is the least you deserve.
“They are the lowest of the low. I have the greatest lack of respect for them to put it mildly and wish the very worst on them. Most people go out and do a legitimate job. These people are immoral, disgraceful individuals. They are worse than leeches.”
Roberton turned up at the woman’s house in July 2013 posing as an agent for a window company.
His sales pitch was cut short, however, when her daughter-in-law arrived to find him inside the widow’s house.
Her son said: “He hadn’t been out of prison long when he tried it on with my mum. He made my mum believe he was an agent for a window company, which he wasn’t She lives in a house with triple glazed windows, in immaculate condition.
The last thing she needs is cheap uPVC.
The man believes more needs to be done to protect people like his mother. He added: “There have been so many incidents over the last ten years since my father died and my mum’s memory started to go.
“She gets blitzed by cold calls both on the telephone and in person. A lot of these companies use rough and ready tactics but just about sale on the right side of the law.”