'Social menace' jailed for 'despicable' frauds

'Social menace' jailed for 'despicable' frauds

Michael Owens

'Social menace' jailed for 'despicable' frauds

A 'serious social menace' has been jailed after a series of 'despicable' crimes including fraud and dangerous driving.

John Doe was jailed for three and a half years at Reading Crown Court, sitting at Reading Magistrates Court, today.

The 22-year-old had fled in his van driving through red lights and the wrong way down a three-lane dual carriageway and at 70mph in 40mph zones after police asked him to stop, before he was arrested.

He admitted two charges of fraud on January 23 after making false representations to customers of his company, 1st Choice Property Maintenance, of Foxborough Close in Langley.

The first of Doe's crimes was in October 2010 when he cold-called a man in Brunel Road, Maidenhead, to fix a few roof tiles for ‘a few hundred pounds’.

The quote escalated to £20,000 to replace the whole roof.

However, the work done was actually valued at about £4,500 by a chartered surveyor commissioned by the Royal Borough.

The victim in his 40s was described by Judge Iain Grainger as the sort of person that can easily be taken advantage of.

Doe also overcharged an 80-year-old resident of Adelaide Square in Windsor in January 2012 after offering to carry out work on his chimneys for £350.

He then claimed to have replaced the roof and charged £9,250 for work that was valued at about £3,700

The father-of-one also admitted charges of dangerous driving, driving without a licence and obstructing police on January 23.

Doe fled police in a Ford van from the Honda roundabout near Colnbrook at about 10.30pm on January 2 after he was ordered to stop.

He drove through red lights, the wrong way down a three-lane dual carriageway and swerved into the path of oncoming motorists with 'no concern' for the safety of the public, his passenger or himself.

He was chased by a 'convoy' of police cars through Windsor, Maidenhead, Wokingham and Bracknell at 'excessive' speeds of 70mph in 40mph zones.

He was finally stopped in Old Wokingham Road, Bracknell, by a police stinger.

Judge Grainger said Doe's crimes were not just examples of making money by 'blatant dishonesty' but 'undermined trust in his fellow human beings'.

He added they were committed against elderly or vulnerable residents and were 'despicable'.

Doe was given a year in prison each for the two fraud offences, eight months for dangerous driving, one month for obstructing police and nine months for breaching the terms of a suspended sentence, to be served consecutively.

He was also disqualified from driving for four years.

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