Fraudster who stole £3,500 from south Northamptonshire homeowners in solar panel con jailed

Wayne Witham
Wayne Witham
  • Fraudster told victims their solar panels were causing power surges on the national grid
  • Man told one woman that her solar panels were a fire risk and needed urgent repairs
  • Trickster used an old circuit board from his laptop claiming it was a spare part but then sat in victim’s property for 15 minutes “doing nothing”

A conman who tricked homeowners in south Northamptonshire into handing over thousands of pounds after he claimed the solar panels on their house were a fire hazard has received an eight-month jail sentence.

Wayne Witham, aged 32, told his victims that the solar panels on their houses were causing “power surges” when he phoned them and claimed to be from National Grid.

Northampton Crown Court heard Witham, of Abington Square, Northampton, was a solar panel salesman and had a list of all the properties in the county that had solar panels.

Jenna Allen, prosecuting, said Witham phoned a woman who lived in Silverstone on April 24 and told her she needed urgent repairs to her solar panels as they were a “fire risk”.

Witham, who put on a false accent and said he was from the National Grid, also made simialr calls to a homeowners with solar panels in Kislingbury and Syresham.

The court heard Witham then went round to the addresses and asked for either cash or a cheque to pay for new parts to fix the solar panel fuse box.

Ms Allen said Witham was arrested after one of the victim’s became suspicious and arranged for her son to be home when he came to fix the solar panel.

The court heard the woman “stalled” the man while her son called the police.

After he was arrested, Witham admitted to the fraud, which totalled £3,650.

In police interview, Witham said he had used an old circuit board from his laptop , claiming it was a new part, and had then sat in the victim’s property for 15 minutes “doing nothing”.

Witham was jailed fro eight months by Recorder Stuart Sprawson who said he had “deliberately deceived people” to benefit financially.