Rogue trader Danny Shea jailed for five-and-a-half years
A rogue builder who conned people across Hampshire and Surrey out of more than £2m has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Danny Shea, 48, of Bordon, Hampshire, admitted fraudulently obtaining a total of £2.1m between 2007 and 2010.
Shea took people's money, promising to carry out building projects which were never completed.
Some victims, many of them elderly, were left more than £100,000 out of pocket, Winchester Crown Court heard.
Shea admitted nine counts of fraud, one count of fraudulent trading and one of theft of construction machinery.
Sentencing him, Judge Susan Evans QC, said: "You are in my view a well practiced and convincing conman.
"You had all the appearance and demeanour of a successful businessman. It is no surprise people were taken in.
"You made sure you obtained valuable contracts by quoting low, undercutting honest builders."
The judge quoted one victim's description of Shea, which summed him up as "a thief, a fraudster and a con artist".
Shea's victims included Martin Wells who lost £150,000 and was forced to move into a caravan for two winters when Shea left his bungalow in Grayshott, Surrey, without a roof.
"As the weeks went by, there wasn't much work being done," he said.
"I'd be on the phone to Shea every day, but he would always have a very plausible excuse."