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Rogue road-layer, 61, is ordered to repay £150,000 for his dodgy driveways

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Rogue road-layer, 61, who bought an official Highways Agency lorry to swindle elderly victims is ordered to repay £150,000 for his dodgy driveways

  • Allan Coutts, 61, pulled up in the ‘official’ truck to target hundreds of victims
  • His resurfacing work would often crumble and fall apart within just weeks
  • Victims paid from £600 to £7,000 – and he made £905,000 in 14 months
  • Coutts denied fraud but was found guilty after a trial at Merthyr Crown Court 

Allan Coutts, 61, (pictured) bought an official Highways Agency lorry to swindle elderly victims

A rogue road-layer who bought an official Highways Agency lorry to swindle elderly victims has been ordered to repay £150,000 for his dodgy driveways.

Allan Coutts, 61, from Sandhurst, Berkshire, pulled up in the ‘official’ truck to target hundreds of elderly victims for shoddy driveway resurfacing work.

The fraudster bought a second-hand Highways Authority roads resurfacing lorry and kept the logo on the front.

A court heard Coutts told unsuspecting householders there was tarmac left over on his lorry from his highways work.

And conman Coutts said he could offer a deal on driveway work before it hardened – and promised a five-year guarantee.

But the work would often crumble and fall apart within just weeks.

The court heard his victims paid from £600 to £7,000 – and he made £905,000 in a 14-month period from February 2015 from his fraud.

The fraudster bought a second-hand Highways Authority roads resurfacing lorry and kept the logo on the front

The fraudster bought a second-hand Highways Authority roads resurfacing lorry and kept the logo on the front

A court heard Coutts told unsuspecting householders there was tarmac left over on his lorry from his highways work to carry out resurfacing

A court heard Coutts told unsuspecting householders there was tarmac left over on his lorry from his highways work to carry out resurfacing 

He was jailed for five and a half years and a Proceeds of Crime hearing in Cardiff Crown Court ordered him to repay £150,000 within three months – or face another two years behind bars.

Judge Richard Twomlow told Coutts that any money recovered will go back to the his victims. 

One victim, Alan Crossley, 71, a retired GP from Powys, Mid Wales, paid Coutts £2,000 to resurface the drive to his house.

Mr Crossley said: ‘During the first really big storm we had after the work was completed it just washed away.

He was jailed for five and a half years and a Proceeds of Crime hearing in Cardiff Crown Court ordered him to repay £150,000 within three months - or face another two years behind bars

He was jailed for five and a half years and a Proceeds of Crime hearing in Cardiff Crown Court ordered him to repay £150,000 within three months – or face another two years behind bars

Work would often crumble and fall apart within just weeks. Judge Richard Twomlow told Coutts that any money recovered will go back to the his victims

Work would often crumble and fall apart within just weeks. Judge Richard Twomlow told Coutts that any money recovered will go back to the his victims

‘Rainwater was running down my drive and it washed a whole river through the middle of the gravel.

‘It lasted just weeks and then I started clearing away everything he’d laid.

‘I felt stupid to be taken in by what was a fairly transparent operation.

Conman Coutts said he could offer a deal on driveway work and promised a five-year guarantee

Conman Coutts said he could offer a deal on driveway work and promised a five-year guarantee

The court heard his victims paid from £600 to £7,000 - and he made £905,000 in a 14-month period from February 2015 from his fraud

The court heard his victims paid from £600 to £7,000 – and he made £905,000 in a 14-month period from February 2015 from his fraud

‘I couldn’t believe the scale of the operation. I thought maybe I was one of half a dozen people in Powys, but this was nationwide. ‘

A trading standards investigation was launched and found £600,000 of cash and card payments had been made in just over a year.

Coutts (pictured) denied fraud but was found guilty after a trial at Merthyr Crown Court

Coutts (pictured) denied fraud but was found guilty after a trial at Merthyr Crown Court

The case was brought by Powys Council.

Coutts denied fraud but was found guilty after a trial at Merthyr Crown Court.

After the case Clive Jones, trading Standards officer at Powys Council, said Coutts had ‘little concern’ for his victims.

Mr Jones said: ‘He pushed poor quality tarmac and work onto unsuspecting vulnerable consumers right across Wales and the UK.

‘He had little concern about the impact of his crimes or victims. The average age was 75 years old.’

Mr Jones said Coutts ‘preyed on the elderly and vulnerable to get that money’.

A Highways Agency spokesman said the vehicle was not owned by them when it was sold.

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