Glazing company owner jailed for nine months

THE owner of a West Midlands double glazing company who duped elderly and vulnerable people out of thousands of pounds of cash has been jailed for nine months.

Paul Lane, who ran Elan Glazing and Paul Lane Window Repairs, in West Bromwich, took money as deposits from potential customers but never carried out any work.

He was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court having been found guilty of 18 counts of theft after an earlier trial last month.

Judge Hilary Watson said Lane, of Wolverhampton Street in Dudley, had obtained people’s trust and then abused that trust.

She said that seven of the 18 people he had conned were elderly and vulnerable.
Lane set up his double glazing window replacement service in 2005 and advertised for business in local newspapers.

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, which investigated the 46-year-old, said it first received a complaint in 2006 from someone who had paid Lane a £250 deposit.

The authority said it found Lane would often target vulnerable and elderly people and had taken deposits ranging from £20 to £650 without carrying out the work.

Despite being given a chance in 2008 to work with trading standards to reimburse his victims, he failed to pay them back as agreed, the council said in a statement.

West Midlands Police eventually arrested Lane after the deposits topped the £3,000 mark.

During his three-day trial, Lane admitted he owed a further £18,000 to 65 more victims.

Cllr Derek Rowley, cabinet member for safer neighbourhoods, said: “Sandwell will not tolerate rogue traders who aim to fleece the public and I hope this acts as a deterrent to anyone who considers taking that risk.”

Sandwell Council’s trading standards manager Bob Robinson added: “Lane was given ample opportunity to pay back his victims but instead chose to dupe more vulnerable victims and therefore action had to be taken to protect the public.”

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