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Trader sentenced for consumer protection offences

A trader from Corfe Mullen who pleaded guilty to regulatory offences and fraud in Poole has been sentenced at Bournemouth Magistrates Court.Lee Bailey, of Mill Street, Corfe Mullen admitted two counts of fraud and three regulatory offences under the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at Bournemouth Magistrates Court on 6 March 2015.

The successful prosecution by Borough of Poole Trading Standards followed offences relating to a roofing job carried out at an address in Broadstone in December 2012.

Mr Bailey initially started working at the property to remove moss from the tiles for which he charged £800, before claiming to the home owners that the roof would collapse if urgent work was not carried out. He charged them £7,430 to strip the whole roof, re-felt it and renew all roof batons which the residents paid up front and despite this work being cancelled shortly after the intervention of Trading Standards, no money has ever been repaid by Mr Bailey.

A chartered surveyor who inspected the roof declared the works quoted by Mr Bailey as 'wholly inappropriate', confirming the roof had never been in danger of collapse and that only very minor, non-urgent repairs estimated at £1,600 were needed. 

On 23 April 2015, the court sentenced Mr Bailey to 6 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. Mr Bailey was issued with a Community Order to complete 250 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £8230 compensation to the victims. The Judge also ordered Mr Bailey to pay prosecution costs of £1000 and victim surcharge of £60.

James Norman, Regulatory Team Manager, Borough of Poole, said: "Cases such as these highlight the importance of using our approved trader scheme to find reputable tradespeople and we would advise at least three written quotes are obtained before having work carried out in or around the home. All too often people are successfully targeted by rogue traders and by continuing to successfully prosecute the offenders we hope to send a clear message of our determination to bring these people to justice."

If you are looking to carry out work at your home, please visit buywithconfidence.gov.uk or call 08454 040506 to find suitable and approved tradespeople.