A ROGUE trader who ‘comprehensively fleeced’ a pensioner couple has been convicted of more than a dozen charges.
Trading Standards at Portsmouth City Council prosecuted window fitter Scott Dungworth after investigating a string of cases.
Key to uncovering his victims was an app called Joist, which allows independent traders to create invoices quickly.
Investigators probing Dungworth’s actions found a digital paper trail, leading to more victims.
At Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday he was convicted of 13 of 16 charges he faced.
Edward Skinner, Trading Standards lead for regulatory services said: ‘Our service takes a zero tolerance approach to rogue traders.
‘We'll continue doing all we can to seek justice for our residents and protect them from unscrupulous trading practices.’
The court previously heard how Dungworth, who also goes by the names Scott Madgwick and Mark, created an ‘air of anxiety’ in Cosham couple David and Pearl Barnden, aged 75 and 77, whom he cheated out of thousands.
Opening the case, Mr Gibney said: ‘What we say is Mr Dungworth is a brazen, flagrant fraudster.
‘He’s a hell of a good salesman and persuades people against their better judgement to disgorge money for work they think is going to be undertaken, money that is no doubt hard-earned and money that they needed for their properties.
‘But they were comprehensively fleeced, and he made any number of excuses thereafter to avoid doing the work.’
Dungworth traded as Skyline Construction Limited, Limelight Builders UK, and invoices were also found under the name Titan Construction.
He was cleared of fraud in relation to misleading Mr and Mrs Barnden about their gable wall.
A city council spokeswoman said the not guilty verdict ‘does not materially impact upon the outcome in respect to Mr and Mrs Barnden and their financial loss’.
The defendant was convicted of participating in a fraudulent business in relation to the couple, and defrauding them of £3,875 over a lie about outstanding works.
He was convicted of a charge of participating in a fraudulent business and a charge of fraud in connection with a couple in North End. But he was cleared of aggressive commercial practice in dealing with them.
Dungworth, who gave the address Camcross Close, Paulsgrove, to the court, was convicted of nine other fraud charges and cleared of one. In all he defrauded six households.
Dungworth, who denied all the charges, will be sentenced on November 29.