Hampshire gardeners Robert and James Whitaker in OAP swindle

James and Robert Whitaker

James and Robert Whitaker

First published in Eastleigh
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy News Editor

TWO Hampshire gardeners are facing prison after being found guilty of ripping off an elderly man who was forced to pay thousands of pounds for work they supposedly carried out in his garden.

Robert Whitaker and his nephew James – who described themselves as “travelling boys” who would cold call residents across the county to try to get work – will have to wait until later this month to learn their fate after being convicted of fraud.

Jurors at Southampton Crown Court acquitted James’ brother, John, 43, of the charge.

The court has heard how the pair, known as Bill and Jimmy, conned an 89-year-old man out of £6,400 for work they claimed to have done in his garden on some 13 occasions between July and December 2011.

They had even driven him to the bank to take money out of the cashpoint machine on occasions and were only caught when staff at HSBC bank noticed unusual transactions on the victim’s account and raised the alarm.

James, 40, ran Chandler’s Ford Tree and Landscape Services, but would often use his uncle Robert to assist with heavy work.

He had told jurors how he was “not a dishonest man” but had never paid tax because he didn’t think he earned enough.

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Robert had been in the gardening trade for 15 years, running his own firm Robert Whitaker Tree Care, and said he would “rather die” than rip off a customer because his own mother had fallen victim to rogue traders in the past.

Robert, 47, formerly of Ennell Copse, North Baddesley, and James, 40, from Triangle Gardens, Nursling, will be sentenced on February 17.

Comments (9)

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9:13am Fri 1 Feb 13

massimoosti says...

Throw the knocking scum behind bars............but let them up their local for a pint first
Throw the knocking scum behind bars............but let them up their local for a pint first massimoosti
  • Score: 0

11:55am Fri 1 Feb 13

RED & WHITE..RED & WHITE says...

Scum
Scum RED & WHITE..RED & WHITE
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Fri 1 Feb 13

loosehead says...

I hate & detest scum like this lock them up & put them on a strict fitness exercise & if they suffer tough
I hate & detest scum like this lock them up & put them on a strict fitness exercise & if they suffer tough loosehead
  • Score: 0

11:03pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Vix1 says...

Used to these men around Baddesley, so glad we moved!!
Used to these men around Baddesley, so glad we moved!! Vix1
  • Score: 0

6:45am Sun 10 Feb 13

Draconian Measures says...

...Pikies !!
...Pikies !! Draconian Measures
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Thu 21 Feb 13

percy85 says...

what was the outcome of this news item.sentencing was on 18.2.13. but nothing in the echo so far this week.about robert and james whitaker, gardeners swindling an OAP
what was the outcome of this news item.sentencing was on 18.2.13. but nothing in the echo so far this week.about robert and james whitaker, gardeners swindling an OAP percy85
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Fri 22 Feb 13

percy85 says...

still no news on the sentencing of these two. a lot of readers would like to know the outcome of this.
still no news on the sentencing of these two. a lot of readers would like to know the outcome of this. percy85
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Fri 22 Feb 13

percy85 says...

still no news on the sentencing of these two. a lot of readers would like to know the outcome of this.
still no news on the sentencing of these two. a lot of readers would like to know the outcome of this. percy85
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Fri 22 Feb 13

percy85 says...

still no news on the sentencing of these two. a lot of readers would like to know the outcome of this.
still no news on the sentencing of these two. a lot of readers would like to know the outcome of this. percy85
  • Score: 0

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