A roofer who convinced residents to fork out thousands of pounds for roofing work has been spared jail.
Simon Anthony Fielding, 54, misled one woman into believing the roof of her Baxenden home needed to be completely rebuilt at a cost of £30,000, a court was told.
Elsewhere, he stripped the dormer roof off a family home in Great Harwood, forcing the family to agree to pay for roofing work, a judge heard.
Fielding, who was featured on the BBC’s Rogue Traders programme in 2010, was ordered to pay compensation totalling £5,500 to his victims after admitting a string of Trading Standards offences.
But he was spared jail after a court heard he would not be able to receive treatment for a chronic bad back if he was locked up.
Sentencing Fielding to eight months suspended for two years, Judge Andrew Woolman also ordered him to pay £5,000 court costs.
He said: “These offences do show a pattern of being aggressive with customers and, in one case, fraudulent with charging.
“As a result you extorted cash from the customers which they need not have paid at that point.”
Prosecutor Jacob Dyer told Burnley Crown Court that Fielding stripped the dormer roof off Victoria Fletcher’s house on St Huberts Street, Great Harwood.
Mr Dyer said the roofer also misled another customer Susan Bowie into thinking he had employed a structural engineer who advised that the roof at her Baxenden home needed a complete rebuild costing £30,000.
In a prosecution brought by Lancashire Trading Standards, the court heard that Fielding also fraudulently told customer Alexander Gibb that £1,800 represented a reasonable price for work carried out to his Barnoldswick property.
Fielding pleaded guilty to fraud, engaging as a trader in unfair commercial practices, failing to give proper notice of cancellation rights and using aggressive practices, all while trading as Ribble Valley Roofing.
He also falsely claimed to belong to the Confederation of Roofing Contractors in an advert in the Yellow Pages.
The offences took place between February 2011 and February 2012.
Mark Stuart, defending, said Fielding was made bankrupt after the offences and forced to sell his farm, worth up to £1m, for half the market price.
He said the former soldier, of The Croft, Whalley Bank, Whalley, had managed to keep his business going. He asked for a suspended sentence to allow Fielding to continue treatment for back pain.
Speaking after the hearing, mum-of-three Victoria Fletcher, 39, warned people to take care when hiring contractors.
She said: “I just want to warn people. If anybody does want to get a builder, check them out with the Confederation of Roofing Contractors.”
Victoria claims that her home was flooded by rainwater soon after Fielding finished work. She added: “It was horrendous what he had done.”