Fraudster builder jailed after swindling customers for thousands

Adam Routledge has been jailed for four years

Mr Routledge, 36, pleaded guilty after fraudulently faking insurance documents and building inspector approval as a part of his schemes, which often preyed on the elderly.

Manchester council were made aware after complaints about Routledge’s substandard work on a basement conversion in January 2017. However, by this point more than £30,000 had been spent by the complainant.

The Court heard that Routledge had disappeared during this period to avoid attempts by the complainant to contact him.

The complainant approached a reputable contractor to fix the work already carried out by Routledge, incurring an additional £36,000 to the total cost of the basement conversion.

This behaviour was followed by two further fraudulent acts in Cheshire, where he preyed on elderly and vulnerable residents.

Manchester’s Trading Standards carried out detailed investigations into the allegations made against Routledge. Evidence gathered proved that the documents provided were fake.

Attempts were made to track down the inspector who allegedly signed these documents, but no such person exists.

Mr Routledge has been jailed for a total of three years and nine months. Half of that period must be spent in custody, with the remaining time on licence.

In summing up Judge Cross QC said Routledge had purposely targeted elderly people for his fraudulent practices and had caused distress to his victims and their families. The judge said the victim statements for this case were distressing and the defendant has affected their lives in a way that can never be mended. He said the victims had been frightened, this has changed their lives and they are now extremely vulnerable. 

Judge Cross QC continued: “There is a mark of shame on your character. You were leaving your home and going to the wealthiest suburbs to practice this fraud.”

No orders for costs or compensation were made.

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