Rogue builder handed prison sentence after Trading Standards investigation

Rogue builder handed prison sentence after Trading Standards investigation

A rogue builder operating in Bristol has been sentenced to two years in prison following an investigation led by Bristol’s Trading Standards Team.

8 March 2021

Appearing in court on Thursday 3 March 2022, John Ward, of Burnley, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to a charge of carrying on business for a fraudulent purpose and breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order that was in place against him from a previous conviction.

Ward was found to use false names to advertise and solicit building work in Bristol via the Rated People website. The rogue builder provided homeowners with false information about who he was and carried out the work to such a poor standard that his victims then had to pay other tradesmen to finish his work or carry out repairs from damage he had caused.

Councillor Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy with responsibility for Regulatory Services said: “This case highlights the risks that rogue traders pose to our communities and the determination and effort we put in to disrupting the activities of perpetrators.

“Households are already facing challenges with the increased cost of living and rising bills – these do not need to be compounded by fraudulent tradesmen. At this time it’s hugely important for citizens to have confidence in Bristol’s tradespeople. Residents have every right to know who they are dealing with and to expect trustworthy and professional services. Our officers remain committed to investigating those who exploit that trust through scams and rogue trading.

We are sending a clear message that rogue traders are not welcome in Bristol and we will take action to stop them from operating.”

In sentencing, His Honour Judge Longman said “Cowboy and rogue traders like you are a menace. You hold yourself out as competent when you are not. You leech on decent members of the public… leaving them in need of expenditure for repair work to make good your deficiencies.”

Ward was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge and there will be a further hearing later this year under the Proceeds of Crime Act to determine if there is to be any financial compensation for the victims. 

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