A CONMAN who preyed on an elderly woman with dementia by undertaking a dodgy roof repair and paint job was fined $4000 in Tamworth Local Court yesterday.
Larry Caston was issued the fine after pleading guilty to unlicensed contracting.
Caston, in the company of his sons Charles and Reenarto, approached an elderly woman suffering dementia at her home in Walcha on June 21 this year and offered to repair and repaint her roof.
Feeling pressured by the men, the woman eventually agreed to have the work carried out.
A short time after the men began removing cans of paint and ladders from a vehicle parked on the street outside the consumer’s residence and began mixing paint.
The consumer’s carer attended the home a short time later, saw the three men continuing to mix up paint and called police.
Police spoke to the men, obtained their details and directed them to leave the property. The information was then passed on to Fair Trading and it helped identify the men.
Larry Caston has never held a contractor licence authorising him to do residential building work in NSW.
Charles and Reenarto Caston were each convicted of one count of unlicensed residential building work and were ordered to each pay $2700 by Tamworth Local Court on August 14. Larry Caston also appeared at that time and pleaded not guilty to charges.
Yesterday he changed his plea.
Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said the court result demonstrates the importance of Fair Trading’s pursuit and prosecution of travelling conmen who prey on vulnerable consumers across NSW.
The member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson, also welcomed the conviction.
He said since the Stop Travelling Conmen campaign was launched in October 2011, 35 individuals had been prosecuted for 122 breaches of various laws; 40 people had left Australia; and, $337,607 in fines and related court costs has been ordered by the courts.