The sentencing at Winchester Crown Court on 21 October 2019 follows a joint investigation between Hampshire County Council and the Public Protection Partnership, which led to the man being found guilty of three offences under fraud and proceeds of crime legislation.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans, said: “Our Trading Standards officers work tirelessly to protect residents from falling victim to illegal activities taking place in Hampshire communities. This case is a prime example where the skill and expertise of the team – from the investigation through to the sentencing – has been highly commendable.
“I am very pleased that the perpetrator of these crimes has been brought to justice. We will not tolerate this behaviour and we remain committed to working with the courts to prosecute those who blatantly disregard the law.
“Hampshire’s Buy with Confidence scheme helps members of the public access a comprehensive directory of fully approved and insured tradespeople – which is a good starting point for residents looking for a reputable tradesperson.”
The year-long investigation by Hampshire Trading Standards in this case, followed a complaint from a member of the public about work the builder had carried out for them. An in-depth investigation revealed how the individual would claim minor repairs were needed, but once work had started, he would artificially inflate the cost and scale of work, suggesting disastrous consequences if not completed. Thanks to Hampshire Trading Standards’ close working with the Public Protection Partnership it emerged that victims spanned both areas. Subsequently, the teams united to bring the individual to justice.
Chair of the Joint Public Protection Committee, Councillor Hilary Cole, said: “This was a serious pattern of offending with five of the victims residing in the Public Protection Partnership area.
“Crimes of this nature know no boundaries, and this was a very good example of trading standards officers working closely together across council boundaries to investigate and bring to justice a serial offender. We are grateful to our colleagues from Hampshire County Council for their co-operation and support with this investigation and prosecution.”
Hampshire has a ‘Buy with Confidence’ scheme which is part of a national register of Trading Standards approved businesses, run by local authorities. Founded in 1999, it has since registered nearly 1,000 businesses, so that independent traders can prove to residents they are professional and trustworthy. Find out how to join and also use the Buy with Confidence scheme.