Rip-off roofer given suspended sentence for carrying out unnecessary, over-priced and dangerous work.
A roofer who carried out unnecessary and over-priced work at the properties of two elderly Kidderminster residents has been spared jail after being sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, a further 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay compensation totalling £15,652 to his victims.
Brad Birch, 20 of Streets Lane, Cheslyn Hay near Cannock admitted 2 counts under the Fraud Act 2006 and 4 counts under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 in relation to work he carried while trading under the name BB’s Roofing.
An investigation by officers from Worcestershire Trading Standards Service was instigated following complaints regarding roofing work carried out at the two properties in Kidderminster by Mr Birch during December 2015.
It was also found that one of the properties had been left in a dangerous state with Cadent Gas Ltd (formerly Nation Grid) required to attend to make the building safe, as his actions had left gas venting into the roof space.
In mitigation Counsel for Mr Birch said that he was only 18 when the offences were committed and he had set up his own company without any training or real understanding of how to run a business.
In handing down the sentence the Judge commented that he was “only just” persuaded to suspend the sentence.
Cllr Lucy Hodgson said: “The work done by our small team of Trading Standards Officers to protect the elderly and vulnerable of Worcestershire cannot be overplayed.
“Cold calling by unscrupulous businesses, although often disputed, clearly targets vulnerable groups in society who are much more likely to be at home during the working day.
“Our dedicated team of Trading Standards Officers actively investigate criminal complaints such as this, and will continue to do so to protect the public from this type of fraudulent business activity.
“The sentence handed down in this case clearly shows that such matters are viewed very seriously by the Courts.”
If you are concerned about a rogue trader in Worcestershire, please visit the “Report It” page at www.worcestershirets.gov.uk or telephone Consumer Direct on 03454-040506.
For press enquiries or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact the Council's Communications team on 01905 766646.
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