A ROOFER has denied conning a York pensioner out of more than £20,000 over driveway paving.

Anthony Robert Turner, 43, told a jury at York Crown Court that he was part of the five-man team that laboured at the Acomb home of Thomas Medd, 76, but he was only the chauffeur and the man who smashed up concrete.

The prosecution alleged Turner and Downes Alexander Aislabie, 38, persuaded the pensioner to pay more than £20,000 for the work.

Earlier, the jury had heard the report of chartered surveyor Ronald James Logan who inspected the finished driveway for the prosecution. He valued the work at £4,650 including VAT and found several flaws in it including uneven surfaces, thin underlay, wrong sand used and gaps between stonework.

In his report, he said that the only way to remedy the mistakes would be to completely take up and re-do the driveway. Turner, of Carrick Street, Hartlepool, denies four charges of deception and one of attempted deception. Aislabie, of West View Road, Hartlepool, who is not on trial, has pleaded guilty to the same charges.

Giving evidence in his own defence, Turner alleged that Mr Medd owed him £900 from roofing work he had done two years before the pair met again in the spring of 2002. Mr Medd handed over the money and said he wanted his drive paving.

Turner introduced him to landscape gardener Aislabie, who got together three of their friends and brothers to do the work.

Turner claimed he was Aislabie's right-hand man, earning £50 a day for overseeing materials delivery and acting as chauffeur. He said he accepted money and cheques from Mr Medd when Aislabie was not on site to pay wages and for materials, and said that he had used the money to pay the site's bills or gave it to Aislabie. He denied keeping any for himself.

The trial continues.

Updated: 11:29 Wednesday, May 21, 2003