Rogue traders receive prison sentences in Trading Standards prosecutions

Two prosecutions have highlighted the work Bromley’s Trading Standards team does to protect residents from rogue traders, with the prosecutions warning residents to be wary of a doorstep call.

Francis Delaney of Nazeing Road, Nazeing, Essex, was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court, to 21 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months, 120 hours unpaid work and 25 days rehabilitation activity for eight counts of fraud by false representation. 

In the second unrelated prosecution, Francis Coyle of Lennox Close, Romford was also sentenced at Croydon Crown Court to 12 months imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

In the first prosecution, the court heard how Delaney, who was a director of the now dissolved All Type Roofing & Building Limited, approached the first complainant in the street.

He later went to their home and over a period of several days suggested and conducted works to the roof, fascias, soffits, gutters and damp course, for which the complainant paid £11,500.

A surveyor concluded that some of this work was unnecessary, and some of the work done was of poor quality.

Trading Standards find more affected

A Trading Standards investigation identified two further Bromley consumers that had paid Delaney for unnecessary and poor-quality works.

The two Orpington based consumers both called All Type Roofing & Building Limited to quote for repairs, having received an advertising flyer through their letterboxes.

The first of these consumers agreed with Delaney a price of £1,250 for repairs to a small flat roof. Delaney then suggested further general building and plastering work and a toilet replacement. He also claimed that repairs were required to the ridge tiles, gutter fascias and soffits, and that sealant needed to be applied to the roof and exterior walls of the property.

He went on to rebuild a front garden wall, repair a gate, clear the back garden, and lay paving slabs. The total cost for the works was £29,000.

The second of these consumers called Delaney to quote for guttering repairs. It was agreed that the gutter, soffit, and fascia would be replaced, and the exterior of the property painted.

Delaney then suggested that work was required to the damp course and concrete paths, and later carried out work to the garden and fencing. The total paid for these works was £90,250.

Francis Delaney pled guilty on the basis that some of the work done was of a reasonable standard, and that he had overcharged the three consumers by a total of £34,995.

No sign of damp under tiles

In the second prosecution, the court heard how Coyle, who was a director of the now dissolved F & M Builders Limited, had cold called a Bromley resident and claimed to have seen a problem with the ridge tiles on the roof.

He went on to claim that the tiles were damp underneath, the felt was perishing and a new roof was required for £17,500.

Further payments were demanded for the work by Coyle’s unidentified co-conspirators, causing the resident to part with a total of £46,000. Some scaffolding was erected, and the ridge tiles removed but no further work was done on the roof.

A surveyor reported that there was no requirement for a new roof, the felt was intact and there was no sign of damp under the tiles.

Don’t deal at the door

Councillor Page, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement said, “These outcomes send a firm message to those who choose to cynically exploit Bromley residents. There should never be any doubt that we will investigate and prosecute.

“The comment from one victim that had Trading Standards not got involved, that the traders would have carried on seeking more work is telling. It also reflects the value of the work that the council’s Trading Standards team do day in and day out to protect residents.”

Councillor Page continued, “Our strongest advice for residents is to simply not deal with doorstep traders and to always seek out reputable and reliable businesses. It is the reason that we operate our Trading Standards Checked scheme, to give confidence to residents.

“We know that residents who are seen as being older are particularly at risk of this type of crime and I would encourage family members to raise this example with other older relatives or friends to raise awareness and help protect us all.”

For reliable, approved traders for home improvement work visit Trading Standards Checked.

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