Conman roofer left customers in 'significant financial and emotional distress'
A roofer has been given a nine month suspended prison sentence after botched building jobs cost his customers thousands of pounds.
Joseph Gardener, 34, of East Avenue, Billingham, trading as J&J Roofing, has also been ordered to pay a total of £12,350 compensation to his nine victims.
Following a hearing at Teesside Crown Court, Gardener was found to be in breach of unfair trading regulations as well as three counts of fraud.
He was also directed to complete 30 days of rehabilitation after he was convicted of nine offences.
The court heard how between October 2018 and December 2020, Gardener was contracted by nine customers to complete roof replacements, guttering work or repairs.
After receiving deposits for the jobs, he then failed to adequately complete any of the work or completed the work to a poor standard.
In one case, Gardener constructed a roof which leaked the first time it rained which left the customer out of out of pocket to the tune of £8,860 – in addition to the £11,150 they had already paid him.
In another case, following a loft conversion, a hole appeared in an upstairs bedroom, causing water to enter the house.
Gardener did not return to fix the problem for weeks and repeatedly gave excuses as to why he could not attend.
When pushed for refunds by his dissatisfied customers, Gardener arranged repayment plans which he failed to pay or only paid in part.
Commenting on the sentence, Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton Borough Council’s cabinet member for access, communities and community safety, said: “Mr Gardener’s actions have caused his customers significant financial and emotional distress.
“I hope the suspended sentence, rehabilitation days and compensation order will serve as a lesson that traders must take their legal responsibilities seriously or face the consequences in court.
“The council’s trading standards team always investigate reports of sub-standard work.
"We advise residents looking to make home improvements to get at least three quotes for the work, seek recommendations from friends and family, and take your time on a decision.
“In addition, large sums of money should only changes hands when the job has been completed to your satisfaction.”
In total, Gardener’s actions have cost his customers close to £25,000.
The council’s trading standards department can be contacted on (01642) 526560 or by emailing [email protected]