Fraudulent builder sentenced to jail

A builder who defrauded an elderly man from Swindon of £34,500 has been jailed for five years despite not turning up to court.

John Hart (62) from Pokedown, Bournemouth was found guilty of one count of fraud at Swindon Crown Court today (Thursday 25 May 2017).

It relates to building work he carried out on the premises of a 76-year-old man in The Mall, Old Town, Swindon between October 2013 and August 2014.

Judge Tim Mousley QC sentenced Hart in his absence as he had absconded during the trial.

There is currently a warrant for Hart’s arrest.

Det Con James Roberts from Swindon CID said: “We welcome this verdict as John Hart is a manipulative individual who wouldn’t think twice about preying on the elderly and vulnerable – as was seen in this case.

“I hope his victim can take some solace from the verdict and the fact that he has been sentenced to prison, once he is found, means he will be off the streets for some time – preventing him from doing this to anybody else.”

“I would urge anyone who knows of the whereabouts of John Hart or sees him to contact 999 immediately and give his exact location, direction of travel, description of clothing and any items he is carrying.  It is possible that Hart has returned to the Dorset area or could still be in Wiltshire.”