Roofer kept ripping off customers AFTER pleading guilty to fraud

Wesley Theobald

Wesley Theobald (inset) admitted a series of fraud offences. Pictured is the dangerous state he left one of his customer's houses in. - Credit: Archant/Wesley Theobald/Facebook

A rogue roofer kept ripping off customers while he was waiting to be jailed for a series of frauds.

Wesley Theobald was given a three-year prison sentence last February for defrauding his customers between 2017 and 2020.

But while the 31-year old from Swaffham was waiting to be jailed, he kept taking money from an elderly, ill couple for work which he never started.

Theobald was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday afternoon for these two fresh frauds, which only came to light when his cheated customers read about him in the Eastern Daily Press.

One of those victims said: "The experience has made me feel hopeless."

Her partner, meanwhile, told the court in a statement that they had to dip into their pension to cover their losses. He said they felt "robbed" by someone they had trusted.

Theobald visited the couple's home in November 2020 to carry out work for a company, Jamie Sawyer, prosecuting for Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, told the court.

While there, he told them the gable ends on their roof were rotten and he could sort it as he was a roofer.

Unknown to them, he was also an undischarged bankrupt and weeks earlier, in October 2020, had pleaded guilty to ripping off other customers.

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Over the next few weeks they ended up paying him £2,600, but he kept coming up with excuses about why he could not do the work or deliver the materials.

Another customer also came forward to Trading Standards after reading about Theobald in this newspaper last year.

In 2019, the man paid Theobald £260 for lead to repair the roof of his home in Blofield, but over the next few months he kept coming up with reasons why he could not do the work, the court heard.

Theobald pleaded guilty to the four new fraud charges last month.

They included failing to tell customers he was an undischarged bankrupt; failing to tell customers they had a 14-day cooling off period; and not doing work or suppling materials which he had been paid for. 

Judge Maureen Bacon told him on Wednesday: "You talked big but you delivered very little. All you managed to achieve was considerable upset. You need to think about others and their problems."

She sentenced him to four months in prison, but this will run concurrently with his earlier sentence, meaning he will not serve any extra time behind bars.

She also placed a Criminal Behaviour Order on Theobald meaning that when he is released from prison he will not be able to rip off any other customers.