FOUR rogue traders were sentenced yesterday for conning elderly and vulnerable people out of more than £70,000 across South Wales, including Gwent.

Campaigners including former Argus editor Gerry Keighley are now calling for more cold calling zones to be set up in the area.

Tom Connors, 23, Richard McCarthy, 21, Ben Jones, 23 and Keith Palmer, 21, from the Rumney and St Mellons areas of Cardiff, were arrested in May last year and admitted a total of 13 offences.

In a joint operation involving South Wales and Gwent Police, trading standards and Newport council, the men were arrested after a string of complaints about their shoddy workmanship and intimidating tactics, targeting older and vulnerable members of the public.

Connors and McCarthy were jailed for 38 months and 25 months respectively, while Palmer and Jones were sentenced to 11 months imprisonment suspended for two years.

They were also ordered to do 240 hours of unpaid work and subject to an electronic curfew between 8pm and 6am for two months, as well as an anti-social behaviour order for two years.

Age Cymru’s campaigns coordinator and former Argus editor Gerry Keighley said this was "a great result" for older people, but claimed the case illustrates the "pressing need" for greater protection for older and vulnerable people against criminal gangs who prey on them by having for more no cold calling zones.

Andrew Bertie from the Scambusters team said it is important for anyone who is subjected cold calling to remember call the police or trading standards and not to engage with someone who knocks at their door offering work.