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Poor workmanship and abusive behaviour lands trader in court

A Hereford carpenter has been convicted of poor workmanship and shocking verbal assaults on elderly consumers at Hereford Magistrates Court this week (17 December).

Jeffrey Stoddart of 63 Whitecross Road, Hereford was convicted of three unfair trading offences under consumer protection legislation, in a case taken by Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards Service.

Stoddart, 58, who traded as Capricorn Too on Whitecross Road, Hereford, pleaded guilty just as the trial was about to commence. The court heard that he had fitted a kitchen and a wardrobe for two vulnerable elderly ladies and when they complained about the standard of workmanship he was aggressive, intimidating and used extremely foul and abusive language, leaving the women shaking and terrified.  They were so distressed that they were too afraid to leave their homes.

The magistrates felt their sentencing powers under the regulations were insufficient and have committed the case to the Crown Court for sentencing on 25 January next year.

Herefordshire Council’s head of consumer and business protection, Mike Pigrem, said: “This is a very disturbing case. It is wholly unacceptable for anyone to treat people in this manner, especially two potentially vulnerable consumers as well as an elderly neighbour.

“It is a priority for the council to protect vulnerable consumers within our community and we will tackle those who, in any way, prey on such people. The standard of workmanship in this case, as well as the abuse, was simply appalling and completely unacceptable leaving us with no option but to take appropriate enforcement action.”

Anyone needing property repairs is advised to consult the council’s trader register at www.traderregister.org.uk/herefordshire “.