Uncle and cousin of Hither Green burglar jailed over roof repair con

The uncle and cousin of a professional criminal who died after fighting a retiree was jailed for cash cheating on one of the thousands of homeowners.

David Vincent Snr, 50, and his 26-year-old son, also known as David, are relatives of Henry Vincent, the burglar who died earlier this month after breaking into Hither Green.

The couple targeted 60-year-old Robert Etheridge and convinced him that he was in dire need of construction on his home in Dartford, Kent.

David Vincent Jr. - the cousin of the burglar who was killed by a homeowner in Hither Green - was jailed for fraud

David Vincent Snr (left) and his son, also known as David (right) – the uncle and cousin of the burglar who was killed by a homeowner in Hither Green, have been jailed for fraud

Together with another man, they cheated on their victim, who was sick from work at the time, of £ 6,000 after falsely telling him that his fascia boards were rotted and his attic was infested with rodents, bird nests and maggots.

They also showed him three dead rats as part of their trickery and tried to extort up to £ 13,000 from him.

All three wore jackets with the company logo “Ideal Home Improvement” and used a van of the same name and Vincent Snr’s cell phone number.

A court heard that they even had the gall to warn Mr. Etheridge not to tell anyone “or the newspapers would find out”.

However, their deception was discovered when a concerned Mr. Etheridge contacted his insurance company and alerted the police.

A real contractor who later inspected their “work” concluded that it was “worthless, not urgent and physical,” as heard at Maidstone Crown Court in Kent.

There was also no infestation.

The two conmen are relatives of Henry Vincent, who died after breaking into the home of 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks in Hither Green earlier this month

The father and son from St. Mary Cray, near Orpington, Kent, along with 36-year-old John Baker of Eltham, south-east London, admitted fraud.

Vincent Snr, who has already been convicted of similar fraud involving cowboy builders, was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Father of three Vincent Jnr was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Baker, father of two, was also sentenced to 18 months in prison.

They appeared in court three weeks after the death of 37-year-old Henry Vincent after he broke into the home of pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78, and his wife Maureen, 76, in Hither Green, southeast London, on April 4.

Mr. Osborn-Brooks was arrested on suspicion of murder but was later released without charge.

Vincent’s funeral is scheduled for next week. However, her relative’s death was not mentioned during the hearing.

The death of Henry Vincent - which resulted in Mr Osborn-Brooks and his wife being advised to stay away from their home for fear of discrimination - sparked a national debate over homeowners' right to defend themselves against intruders

The death of Henry Vincent – which resulted in Mr Osborn-Brooks and his wife being advised to stay away from their home for fear of discrimination – sparked a national debate over homeowners’ right to defend themselves against intruders

Investigator Detective Constable Iain Joyce said today, “All three have targeted the victim over and over again, each time with more sophisticated excuses to convince the victim to hand over more money. They abused his trust and showed no consideration for the effects of their actions.

“Our officers worked with Trading Standards to bring all three men to justice and to ensure they couldn’t cheat any further in such malicious ways.

“If you suspect that there are rogue traders in your area, or if you believe that a neighbor or someone on your street is a victim of the rogue trade, please call us on 101. If the suspects are still there , call 999. ”

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