City Watch


A builder has admitted conning an elderly man out of thousands of pounds for work on his village home which was not done or so badly executed it had to be redone.

Richard Pick appeared at Leicester Crown Court on Monday pleading guilty to four charges of fraud. But the victim of Pick's fraud, Dr Jeremy Goodchild, died earlier this year aged 82 and did not see the builder admit his guilt in court. Pick admitted that he unlawfully misled Dr Goodchild that he would repaint the outside of his home in Main Street Kimbolton, in Cambridgeshire between June 1,2012 and February 2013. Pick (62) of Totland Road, Western Parks, Leicester, also pleaded guilty to fraudulently promising to remove and replace the roof at his listed building home. He also misleadingly promised to repair an exterior wall there. The fourth charge involved Pick fraudulently agreeing to dig footings for a wall at another property in Uppingham Road, Leicester on June 14, 2012.

Paul Prior, prosecuting on behalf of Leicester City Council said Pick had pocketed thousands of pounds as a result of the offences.

Pick, who was representing himself, said he had arranged to pay £7,000 compensation to the victim's estate. He said: "I will do all the court will ask of me."

Judge Ebraham Mooncey said he would adjourn the case for four weeks so that pre-sentence reports can be compiled. He granted Pick bail but warned him all options, including prison, would be considered.

Judge Mooncey said: "At this stage I cannot tell you what the sentence will be." After the hearing Leicester City Council's trading standards manager Ronald Ruddock said: "We are pleased with the outcome of this case. I am aware that Dr Goodchild, who had been a repeat victim of similar incidents in the past, was keen to see justice served despite his vulnerability and failing health. It is unfortunate that he passed away quite recently and so failed to see today's outcome." Mr Ruddock added: "Our message to those who prey on the vulnerable in this way is that we will seek to bring you to justice. We are pleased with the convictions."

Details from Leicester Mercury









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