Builder sentenced after pleading guilty to overcharging pensioner
Lee Sharkey trading as 1st Choice Roofing Oxford of Manor Park, Hampton Poyle, admitted at Oxford Crown Court to charges of over inflating the price and poor quality maintenance work at a pensioner's Southdale Road home in Oxford.
He was also ordered to wear a tag and observe a curfew for two months and to pay £6,000 towards costs following the prosecution by Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards team.
Sharkey also pleaded guilty to disguising criminal property under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The home owner asked Sharkey, amongst other things, to repaint the property, to replace bricks, carry out re-pointing, external painting, clean the roof, re-bed the hip tiles, repoint the chimney replace all the facias, soffits and down pipes. The victim was charged £46,800 and had already paid £21,800 before Trading Standards stepped in and Sharkey refunded the money.
Trading Standards were alerted to the problem when the victim tried to transfer a large amount of cash from their bank and the bank became concerned.
Sharkey pleaded guilty to the following charges:
Fraud by false representation
- Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations Regulation 3 & 8 – contravening the requirements of professional diligence by not carrying out the work to a satisfactory standard.
- Proceeds of Crime Act – transferring criminal property
- Proceeds of Crime Act– disguising criminal property
- Proceeds of Crime Act– converting criminal property
Martin Woodley, Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards Doorstep Crime Lead Officer, who investigated the case, said: "Unfortunately we see too often those targeting the elderly and vulnerable and carrying out poor quality work at vastly over inflated prices.
“Without the assistance and quick thinking of the victim’s bank, we would not have been aware of this case.
“Trading standards doorstep crime team will continue to seek out and tackle those who carry out unscrupulous practices.
Councillor Rodney Rose, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council who has Cabinet responsibility for Trading Standards, added: "This is yet another excellent result for Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards team. I hope these cases act as a deterrent to any dishonest traders who might be thinking of trying to defraud the public by grossly overcharging and carrying out substandard work.
“My advice is that people should contact Trading Standards if they feel that they are pressurised into having work done on their property and use the County Council’s Buy with Confidence list to choose a reputable trader.”
Notes for editors
For more information call Martin Woodley 07770 832812
For more information about Buy With Confidence https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/buy-confidence