Former soldier terrified elderly customers into buying new windows

Former soldier, 29, is jailed for nearly three years for terrifying elderly customers into buying new windows and doors after challenging one upset victim on crutches who complained to ‘step outside’

  • Richard Evans led team telling customers their homes put insurance in danger
  • His firm would ‘pressurise’ customers into agreeing deals by using ‘scare tactics’
  • Evans, of Port Talbot, admitted two counts of fraud and was jailed 

A former soldier whose rogue call centre ‘scared’ elderly people into buying new windows and doors has been jailed for nearly three years. 

Ex-Royal Welsh soldier Richard Evans, 29, led the team telling elderly customers their current homes were putting insurance policies in danger.

His firm Crystal Style Home Improvements would ‘pressurise’ customers into agreeing deals by using ‘scare tactics’ – and buy new windows they did not need, Swansea Crown Court heard. 

Father-of-two Evans, who served tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, would write scripts for salespeople to use on the phone which promised government grants for work that did not exist.

Ex-Royal Welsh soldier Richard Evans, 29, led the team telling elderly customers their current homes were putting insurance policies in danger

Prosecutor Lee Reynolds said many of the staff quit just days into the job after getting fed up of reading from ‘misleading’ scripts. He said the business would mostly target customers in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, and workers were ‘extremely persistent’.

Evans ditched the business after Trading Standards launched an investigation – but continued his fraud at another company, the court was told. 

He began a role at SDG Carpets where he would offer building work for cash deposits and then provide unskilled or bogus tradesmen to carry out the jobs.

Mr Reynolds said the company would hike up prices halfway through the work and threaten to walk away if customers failed to pay, and customers who complained were ‘met with aggression’ by Evans and fellow SDG boss Steve Garvey, 65.

He said former Royal Welsh corporal Evans once offered a customer on crutches to ‘step outside’ after he complained.

In a victim impact statement, the customer said: ‘These people took my money and destroyed my home, they damaged what was beautiful and original to the property and they threatened me and my son with more delays, and even violence.

‘They would lie, mock me and get abusive and threatening.

‘They have ruined my house for me and I don’t know if I can ever feel about the house the way I used to.’

Evans, of Port Talbot, admitted two counts of fraud and was jailed for two years and 10 months.


Father-of-two Evans, who served tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, would write scripts for salespeople to use on the phone which promised government grants for work that did not exist. David Gater, right, who was described as Evans’ ‘lieutenant’ at Crystal Style Homes also admitted two counts of fraud

Garvey of Cwmavon, near Port Talbot, also admitted fraud.

David Gater, 35, who was described as Evans’ ‘lieutenant’ at Crystal Style Homes also admitted two counts of fraud.

Ian Wright, defending Evans, said he had left the army in 2015 after suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had initially wanted to start a legitimate business.

Recorder Malcolm Gibney said Evans’ set up the business in a way that ‘from the very outset was designed to defraud.’

He said said he gave ‘completely bogus’ scripts to staff and behaved in ‘quite disgraceful conduct’.

Evans was jailed for two years and 10 months. Garvey and Gater were handed suspended sentences. 

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