A 49-year-old man has been sentenced in relation to a number of offences - knowingly or recklessly engaging in a commercial practice which contravenes professional diligence, engaging in a misleading commercial practice, and engaging in an aggressive commercial practice - after defrauding more than 50 people, many of whom were vulnerable, older people, across Northern Ireland out of an amount of money of just under £59,000.
Stephen Stewart was sentenced at Antrim Crown Court on Thursday 23rd March to 12 months custodial sentence suspended for three years.
Detective Inspector Lenaghan said:
"Between February 2019 and July 2021, he took advantage of these victims by canvassing for work in a pressurised manner, taking their deposits, and then not carrying out or completing the work, and keeping their money.
DI Lenaghan continued:
"He chose a callous disregard for those he chose to defraud, knowing that they were vulnerable.
"I hope that this sentencing sends out a clear message to anyone who thinks they can get away with this type of crime. We will continue to work tirelessly to bring offenders before the courts, so that the victims receive the justice they deserve.
"I'm asking you to please take the time to talk to any friends or family members who may be older or vulnerable. Please ask them to be mindful of anyone who calls to their door and tries to pressurise them into purchasing goods or services.
"Report any activity that raises your suspicions to police immediately. Your support can help to deter criminals and reduce crime in your area. Call us on the non-emergency number 101."