Cowboy Builder Prosecuted
On Friday 1st March 2013, following an investigation by Trading Standards, Crosswell Alan Barton was sentenced to three months in jail suspended for two years after pleading guilty to a deception offence. Mr Barton was also fined £500 for knowingly making a false trade description, ordered to pay costs of £2617 and compensation of £4500. He was trading under the name of Simply Roofing when the offences were committed in late 2011.
The deception offence was committed when Mr Barton dishonestly obtained £4250 from his victim by falsely representing that roofing work listed in a quotation had been completed whereas in fact it had not been completed.
Mr Barton made the false trade description when he placed an advert in a local paper stating that Simply Roofing was established in 1985 whereas in fact the business was established in November 2011.
An independent expert witness stated that the work that Mr Barton did undertake at his victim’s home address was “to a standard significantly below what we would reasonably expect of a competent tradesman” and was of the opinion that all the work undertaken required attention given the “poor workmanship”.
David Quirk MHK, the Chairman of the OFT, says:
“This prosecution highlights the good work being undertaken by the OFT to rid the Island of ‘cowboy builders’ who prey on trusting homeowners, and often the more vulnerable members of society, with the intention of fleecing them out of thousands of pounds.
The OFT will not hesitate to take similar action against these criminals to prevent them taking advantage of consumers.
Enforcement agencies across Government will continue to work together to curtail the activities of these rogue tradesmen.”
If anyone has any concerns about ‘cowboy builders’ they should contact the OFT on 686500.