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Chippenham roofers sentenced following substandard roofing installation

Rogue traders from Chippenham have today (Tuesday 4 July) been sentenced following a successful prosecution by Wiltshire Council officers.

Published 4 July 2023
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Rogue traders from Chippenham have today (Tuesday 4 July) been sentenced following a successful prosecution by Wiltshire Council officers.

John Sykes, 35 and William Birch, 38, trading as J's Roofing and Building had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud and two unfair trading offences.

The work, completed in June 2021, involved replacing a flat roof and installing a Velux window was deemed by a chartered surveyor to have been of an abysmal standard and below a minimum acceptable industry standard. The victim agreed for the work to be carried out in response to flyers posted through their letterbox.

The successful conviction is thanks to the work of Wiltshire Trading Standards Officers who were notified by staff at Lloyds bank, concerned that the couple had fallen foul of rogue traders. Officers intervened, calling the traders and informed them that they would not be receiving payment and that they should not return to the property. They also arranged for a chartered surveyor to examine the quality of the work that had been carried out. The chartered surveyor's report stated that there was 'no evidence of any basic skill, competence or understanding of work of this nature'. It was also noted that the works were unlikely to resist rainwater ingress and that there was a strong possibility that the roof could buckle and collapse.

During sentencing at Swindon Crown Court, both Mr Sykes and Mr Birch were each given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. Both were also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

Cllr Nick Holder, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said; Rogue traders are often an individual or company who offers services on a doorstep, often with very little means of identification. They can go on to cause misery and problems by cutting corners and carrying out work to unacceptable standards.

We want to warn residents to be cautious of anyone who turns up on their doorstep offering to do work and to be aware that photos used on websites or social media may not be the trader's own work. 

We hope that this sentencing sends out a clear message to any traders contemplating similar treatment of consumers and empower any other victims of such activity and report it in confidence to our teams. We are keen to promote safe, compliant and successful traders as great examples to others. Trusted traders can also be found by using an approval scheme such as Buy With Confidence (opens new window).

  If anyone believes they have been the victim of a rogue trader, they should call Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

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