Rogue traders jailed for garden fraud in Westham near Pevensey

Samuel Moore and William Henry Jones conned a 71-year-old man out of thousands of pounds
Samuel Moore and William Henry Jones conned a 71-year-old man out of thousands of pounds

Two men who conned their victim out of thousands of pounds by falsely claiming his Westham garden needed urgent work have been jailed following an investigation by Sussex Police.

In September last year Samuel Moore, a 39-year-old car salesman from Argos Hill in Mayfield, and unemployed 22-year-old William Henry Jones from Butts Field in Hailsham, called at the home of a 71-year-old man and told him his leylandii shrubs had a fungal infection which if left untreated would spread to the rest of his garden, police say.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said they also claimed the plot was so overgrown the district council would take costly action unless he remedied the situation.

The victim, who was already distressed by the recent death of his mother according to police, was shown a leaflet saying the men had expertise in tree care and were trading as Orchard Tree Care.

The fraudsters then charged him almost £6,000 for the work which was never completed. Moore and Jones were convicted following a trial at Lewes Crown Court.

On August 9 Moore was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and Jones, already serving 16 months for previous acts of fraud, was jailed for 18 months.

Wealden police inspector Tony Wakefield said, “Thanks to the tenacity of the officers concerned, justice has been served and future similar crimes prevented.”