Flintshire Trading Standards prosecute roofer
Recently, Flintshire Trading Standards Service undertook a successful prosecution of a roofer who conned a widow out of over £40,000.
Richard Whelan, of Blacon had been contacted by his victim after he had been recommended to her by her hairdresser. He had quoted £14,000 to fix problems with her roof, but as time and the work went on he had asked her for more and more money to get the work done. By the end of the job she found she had paid him over £40,000 in cash and bank transfers.
The work was examined by a surveyor who concluded that what work had been done was substandard and the roof had been left in a dangerous state. Added to that Whelan had asked the victim to pay £4,000 to remove asbestos that was not there and a further £4,000 to fit bat and rat grills that were not required.
In a witness impact statement read out to the court Whelan’s victim said “The stress that this man has caused me has impacted significantly on my physical, emotional and psychological health and wellbeing. I feel deceived, cheated, taken advantage of. I’m severely bruised by the whole experience and saddened that one human being can do this to another.”
Mr Whelan pleaded guilty to 11 charges under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and was sentenced to 18 months custody to be served consecutively with 9months in prison immediately and 9 months on licence after that. He was also banned from being a company director for 5 years. The judge in the case Mr David Hale said that Whelan viewed his victim as a ‘cash cow’, and that he knew that she didn’t need many of jobs he charged her for but he needed the money. Sentencing Whelan he said he should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.
Councillor Chris Bithell Flintshire’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection said:
“The guilty plea and the punishment imposed was, on this occasion, fitting for such a dreadful case which not only took so much of the lady’s savings but also has had a traumatic impact on her. This case shows how Flintshire’s Community and Business Protection Service is willing and able to take necessary action to bring such fraudsters before the courts and ensure that they are punished and hopefully will be unable to take advantage of other vulnerable members of the community in Flintshire. The service continues to investigate allegations of rogue traders working in the County.”