A ROGUE builder who cold called and defrauded an elderly man has been ordered to repay his victim thousands of pounds.

Sean Hughes, of Bachelor Road in Bournemouth, carried out works to the home of the 80-year-old Poole resident in December 2014.

A bill of £250 for small repairs was initially agreed. Hughes, 45, later demanded £4,000 for the building work - almost four times its actual worth, a court heard.

Hughes also carried out a series of unnecessary works to the property. He fitted a new lintel to the door of a garage before telling the victim his entire property needed underpinning.

Builders who underpin a property closely monitor the building for up to a year. However, Hughes carried out the work over the course of just seven days.

The cost of all building works undertaken by Hughes - including those which were not necessary - should have totalled no more than £1,115, a chartered surveyor later said.

During the course of the building works, Hughes presented his victim with an invoice under the trading name South Coast Building.

He said all works were guaranteed under the 'building regulations act 2006'. The act does not exist.

Hughes was later charged with four counts of fraud, to which he pleaded not guilty.

However, he was convicted of the charges at Poole Magistrates' Court on October 23.

He was ordered to pay £2,895 in compensation to the homeowner.

James Norman, regulatory team manager at the Borough of Poole, warned residents not to speak to cold callers offering work, but instead to find reputable and vetted traders through the 'buy with confidence' scheme.

Mr Norman said: “This is a clear case of a trader willing to exploit the trust of a customer for his own profit.

"Borough of Poole Trading Standards will use every means possible to bring to justice traders who mislead or exploit their customers.”