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Local rogue trader receives prison sentence for cold calling

Joseph Thomas Carter, 25, of Bullhurst, Bromyard and more recently Leominster, was sentenced to a term of 15 months imprisonment for four offences of fraud by false representation and one of an aggressive practice, in a case taken by Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards Service this week (19 June – Worcester Crown Court).

Between September 2010 and January 2011 Carter had cold called three vulnerable consumers and carried out very poor quality work on their properties.  The work he did included guttering, conservatory and gardening repairs: all of which was unnecessary and cost the victims large sums of money. Judge Pearce-Higgins said Carter was unable to deal properly and fairly with anyone he contracts with.

Herefordshire Council’s acting head of consumer and business protection, Mike Pigrem, said after the hearing:  “Tackling rogue traders who target those at risk, especially the elderly and vulnerable, is a priority for our Trading Standards team.

“This is one of many cases we are taking to court this year, with the valuable help of West Mercia Police, to clamp down on these despicable practices. This is the second doorstep conman we have prosecuted this year who has received a custodial sentence. Such enforcement action should act as a strong warning to other unscrupulous traders to stay away from the people of Herefordshire and reinforces our policy of zero tolerance in tackling rogue trading.

“We would always advise consumers, whether vulnerable or not, that they should never deal with anyone who cold calls them at the door or indeed on the telephone, as virtually all rogue trading is operated in this way. If you need any property repairs then we advise consulting the council’s trader register at www.traderregister.org.uk/herefordshire