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Rogue company director sentenced for trading standards offences

A company director has been sentenced following successful prosecutions by Wiltshire Council and Herefordshire Council for multiple consumer protection offences committed in Wiltshire and Herefordshire.

Published 30 March 2023
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A company director has been sentenced following successful prosecutions by Wiltshire Council and Herefordshire Council for multiple consumer protection offences committed in Wiltshire and Herefordshire.

Garry Raymond Potticary, formally of Swindon, a director of now dissolved Spectrum Energy Guard Limited, had previously pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court in May 2022 to three offences of engaging in commercial practices that were either misleading or aggressive towards 80-year-old Christopher Russell in October 2016 and April 2019.

During the court proceedings, Mr Potticary admitted he had told Mr Russell that his home required a wall coating to protect the existing cavity wall insulation. The proposed work was not necessary, and his sales pitch had been false and untruthful. He had also told him he would be eligible for a £2,700 discount, if he waived his right to a cooling off period and agreed to have the works carried out within an unduly short period of time. Mr Potticary admitted this as being an aggressive practice. Mr Russell had also previously had spray foam loft insulation installed in 2016, which Mr Potticary admitted was also not necessary.

Mr Potticary was also found guilty at a separate trial, held at Salisbury Crown Court in June 2022, of misleading an 86-year-old lady from Chippenham. His company had convinced the lady that her spray foam loft installation required an inspection for guarantee purposes. On visiting her property, the resident was falsely informed that her roof timbers were damp and that she would need her roof cleaned and a coating applied to the tiles. Mr Potticary was found guilty of both counts of misleading a customer.

In addition, Mr Potticary has previously entered guilty pleas for using logos on his company paperwork from two organisations that he was no longer a member.

On Friday 24 March, at Cirencester Crown Court, Mr Potticary was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months. He must also pay £3,395 in compensation to Mr Russell. The female victim had sadly passed away by the time of sentencing. Further fines totalling £5,605 were also issued, with a victim surcharge of £122, and he was disqualified from acting as a company director for four years.

Both Wiltshire Council and Herefordshire Council were awarded a contribution of £500 towards costs.

Cllr Nick Holder, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: Rogue traders can cause misery for our residents by taking their money for unnecessary works or by carrying out works to an unacceptable standard.

As this case shows, our trading standards team will do all they can to protect people against rogue traders here in Wiltshire, and I hope this conviction and fines sends a clear message to any unscrupulous traders that we will take action to protect our residents.

To help guard against rogue traders, people should not agree to any building work with cold callers, ask to see ID and also ask for written quotes.

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