Conman who defrauded Hastings pensioner, 83, sent back to prison

A rogue trader jailed for conning a pensioner out of more than £26,000 has been sent back to prison after paying less than 10 per cent of the court-ordered compensation, the county council has confirmed..

Patrick Charles Lemmon, 59, appeared at Folkestone Magistrates Court on January 18, having paid just £2,200 towards the £26,950 confiscation order imposed in April 2019.

Trading as Regency Paving Company from a premises in Cooden Sea Road, Little Common, Bexhill, Lemmon had told his 83-year-old victim, in 2018, that he needed a new conservatory roof and replacement glass panel, the county council said.

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He took five cheques from his victim but never started the work, according to the county council. The victim, from the Hastings area, received no paperwork, a quote, cancellation rights or receipts of payment.

Patrick Lemmon. Picture supplied by East Sussex County Council

During an investigation by East Sussex Trading Standards, an independent building surveyor concluded that, while the replacement pane of the glass was necessary, the roof of the conservatory did not need replacing. He said a fair and reasonable cost for both pieces of work combined would have been £1,305 inclusive of VAT.

Lemmon was originally jailed for 42 months after being convicted by a jury of two counts of fraud and seven counts of money laundering in July 2018.

But due to his lack of commitment to make payments, the court returned Lemmon of St Johns Drive, Polegate to prison for 336 days, the county council said.

Cllr Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council's lead member for communities and safety, said: “A vulnerable pensioner lost tens of thousands of pounds to this unscrupulous trader and officers did everything they could to make sure at least some of the money was returned.

“Despite serving a prison sentence for his crimes, Lemmon has failed to pay back the money owed to his victim and this is simply unacceptable.

“We are pleased that the court has decided to take action and send Lemmon back to prison, and hope that this shows him how determined we are to return the money to his victim.”

Lemmon will still have to pay the remaining £24,750.00 to his victim, with interest added on a daily basis.