Rogue roofer ramped up costs and left trail of devastation across Lancashire

Homeowners were left with exposed roofs, overflowing gutters and damaged gardens after a rogue trader conned them out of more than £200,000.

Stewart Langton, 34, claimed to be a reputable tradesman but left a trail of devastation across Preston, Blackpool and Cheshire. Between 2022 and 2024, he used a number of business names to confuse customers as to who they were dealing with.

Customers were left suffering financial difficulties, anxiety and stress as a result of the damage he caused.


Trading Standards launched an investigation after receiving a number of complaints that customers had been quoted low rates for work, only for prices to be ramped up once the job had started. Work was left unfinished and customers were told workers would walk off the job if large amounts of money were not paid immediately.

Stewart Langton ramped up the cost of work then left the job incomplete
Stewart Langton ramped up the cost of work then left the job incomplete -Credit:Trading Standards

One woman, in her 80s, was taken to the bank daily by Langton to withdraw extra money after being quoted £2,000 for new facias and guttering. Over five days she handed over £26,000 before refusing to pay any more.

The pensioner was left with a partially tiled roof with sheeting covering large parts of it and numerous leaks causing damage within the house.

Another woman, who was on maternity leave with her nine-month-old baby, was quoted £400 to fix a leak at her home. Within hours of starting work, Langton claimed extra work was needed which would cost her £8,000. The money was paid, but the job was never finished and the woman was left fearing her child could be hurt by falling debris.

One man was quoted £1,800 to repair a patch of damp but once the work began, he was told a much bigger job had emerged - which would cost £13,000 to fix. When he went inside to discuss it with his wife, he returned to find a huge hole in his roof.

The man asked for it to be repaired immediately but was told it could not be done and he would have to pay £6,000 immediately.

Langton, of Whalley Lane, Blackpool, has been jailed for four years and three months after he pleaded guilty to carrying out a fraudulent business. He has also been handed a 10 year criminal behaviour order, banning him from working on people's homes.

Preston Crown Court heard a total of 10 people handed over £202,030 to Langton, with many being told much greater sums would be required to finish the work. Many of his victims now face extensive bills to repair the damage he has done to their properties.

Stewart Langton ramped up the cost of work then left the job incomplete
Stewart Langton ramped up the cost of work then left the job incomplete -Credit:Trading Standards

The prosecution said: "The complaints identified a pattern whereby small quotes were initially being given by Langton, usually for a leak or small guttering repairs. Then within a very short period of time of work starting, typically the first day and even within the first hour of the workers arriving, Langton would escalate the work needed to a much bigger, and much more expensive job.

"The consumers would then be faced with the prospect of either agreeing to this extra work and having to pay further large amounts of money, or being left with an exposed roof, typically with the threat of the workers walking off the job if they wouldn't immediately agree and pay the extra money demanded."

Between 2022 and 2024, Langton traded under a number of business names, including SJ Contractors, Northwest Roofing, SJL Roofing and Home Maintenance, Blackpool Roofing Services, Preston Roofing, Preston Roofcare and Preston Roof Repairs.

An Independent Surveyor instructed by Lancashire County Council Trading Standards reported that much of the work carried out by Mr Langton was substandard and incomplete. He also found that a number of elements had been misdescribed to the consumers and that many had paid for work that was not necessary in the first place.

A proceeds of crime hearing will take place in October 2024 in connection with Langton's fraudulent business dealings.