Rogue Roofer Gets Jail Sentence After North Yorkshire Prosecution
12:36pm 13th March 2013
A rogue roofer who swindled three pensioners out of hundreds of pounds was handed a suspended prison sentence today following a successful prosecution by North Yorkshire County Council’s trading standards team.
Andrew Wilson, 43, of Stockbridge Lane, Bentley, Doncaster, was sentenced at York Crown Court to nine months imprisonment suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work, following an investigation by trading standards officers into his business, “Weatherguard”, say North Yorkshire County Council.
Wilson had earlier pleaded guilty, at a hearing on December 4 2012 at Selby Magistrates’ Court, to several offences contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. All the offences arose from complaints made to Trading Standards by consumers, after Wilson cold–called them offering to carry out roofing work to their properties in the Selby area between July 2011 and January 2012, say North Yorkshire County Council.
Wilson’s victims included a 78 year old man living alone, who paid a total of £2,940 after repeated visits by Wilson over a period of about two months, say the council. They add that Wilson told the victim each time he visited that further work was needed. A chartered surveyor who later examined the work estimated its value at £875, say the council.
North Yorkshire County Council say that in a second case, a 78 year old woman who lived alone since being recently widowed, paid £500 for a job which began with an estimate of £100, but rose as Wilson told the victim that further work was needed. The council say that the chartered surveyor said some of the work carried out was not required, some wasn’t done, and some was sub-standard. He added: “It is my opinion that none of the work carried out to the roof of this property is fit for purpose and effectively has no value whatsoever, since the householder will now be faced with having this work correctly undertaken by an alternative contractor, likely at a similar or greater cost”.
North Yorkshire County Council say that a third case involved a woman in her sixties who paid a total of £4,050 following several repeat visits by Wilson over a five week period, where he claimed further work was needed. The chartered surveyor’s opinion was that some works were not required, others were not done and some were sub-standard, to the extent that they would cause a significant risk of water penetration to the inside of the property. He valued the work at £1,495, compared with the £4,050 paid by the victim.
North Yorkshire County Council say that all payments were made in cash, at Wilson’s request. They add that he failed to provide any of his victims with a written notice of their right to cancel the contracts for work to be done.
Sentencing Wilson, Recorder Attwooll said: “You are a cowboy builder who bullied your customers into allowing you to do their work.” He added that Wilson had “ripped them off” and should consider himself to be “very lucky”. He also told Wilson “offending of this type always attracts a degree of disgust from the public.”
A Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation hearing will now follow, to recover any assets gained by Wilson from his criminal activity and to compensate the victims in the case, say North Yorkshire County Council.
County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for North Yorkshire Trading Standards said:
“This case once again demonstrates North Yorkshire County Council’s determination to ensure that all residents of our county are protected from bogus builders such as Wilson.
“It also shows how important it is for members of the public to be vigilant and to alert trading standards or the police immediately if they are targeted by these criminals, or suspect a neighbour or friend is being targeted. Early reports enable us to prevent further payments by existing victims and take action to prevent these despicable individuals targeting others.”
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