A rogue builder was ordered to pay back over £16,000 to an elderly man he conned into paying for unnecessary work.

William Henry Jones, 29, from Hailsham, was sentenced to 34 months in prison last year after admitting to tricking his victim into paying over £13,000 for unnecessary and poor-quality building work.

On April 30, Lewes Crown Court ordered Jones to pay back £16,345.07, including £5,500 compensation for the victim, within three months or face an additional nine months in prison.

The victim, a 91-year-old man from Eastbourne, paid the rogue builder to work on the roof of his home.

Andy Clooney of East Sussex Trading Standards said: “This is a great result for East Sussex Trading Standards and the victim, who will get back all of the money he was tricked into paying for unnecessary work on his home.

“I hope this case sends a clear message to unscrupulous traders that we will do everything we can to bring those committing offences in East Sussex to justice, and to ensure that the money they con out of our residents is returned.”

A surveyor who assessed Jones’s work on the victim’s roof said it was in a poor state and significant repair work was needed.

The rogue builder had demanded £19,500 for the work, and this cost gradually increased each time he visited the property.

On one occasion, Jones drove the victim 75 miles to collect his chequebook from another address and withdraw funds from a local bank.

The victim paid over £13,000 in total but cancelled a cheque for £8,000 before it cleared after the East Sussex Trading Standards team became involved.

The victim’s total loss was £5,500.