Bridgwater plumber defrauds elderly couple

A rogue plumbing and heating engineer has been found guilty of defrauding an elderly couple.

Appearing at Taunton Crown Court, Gary Coombes, 58, pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud.

Coombes traded as Bridgwater Heating and repeatedly targeted the elderly couple at their Bridgwater home.

He was found guilty of defrauding them of £13,000, has been given a 12-month suspended prison sentence.

He grossly overcharged them the couple for boiler service and maintenance work as well as general home maintenance. It was only when the victim’s daughter became suspicious and reported Coombes to Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service (HotSWTSS), that the fraud was uncovered.

On sentencing, Judge Zeb told Coombes: “On each occasion you excessively overcharged, and rendered invoices that were grossly overinflated, false, and not reflective of the work required or done.   In all that time, [the victims] came to know you, trusted you, and paid without question.”


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