Sat, 02 Nov 2019
A TADLEY builder has been jailed for four years after carrying out unnecessary roof repairs and building services and then overcharging customers.
Michael Wall, of Silchester Road, was found to have overcharged Hampshire and West Berkshire customers by £268,500 while trading as First Choice Roofing.
He was jailed for three offences under fraud and proceeds of crime legislation at a trial at Winchester Crown Court on October 21.
The sentencing comes following a joint investigation between Hampshire County Council and the Public Protection Partnership.
Hampshire County Council leader Keith Mans said: “Our Trading Standards officers work tirelessly to protect residents from falling victim to illegal activities taking place in Hampshire communities.
“I am very pleased that the perpetrator of these crimes has been brought to justice.
“We will not tolerate this behaviour and we remain committed to working with the courts to prosecute those who blatantly disregard the law.
“Hampshire’s Buy with Confidence scheme helps members of the public access a comprehensive directory of fully approved and insured tradespeople – which is a good starting point for residents looking for a reputable tradesperson.”
The year-long investigation by Hampshire Trading Standards followed a complaint from a member of the public about work Mr Wall had carried out for them.
An in-depth investigation revealed how Mr Wall would claim minor repairs were needed, but once work had started he would artificially inflate the cost and scale of work, suggesting disastrous consequences if not completed.
Joint Public Protection Committee chairwoman Hilary Cole said: “This was a serious pattern of offending with five of the victims residing in the Public Protection Partnership area.
“Crimes of this nature know no boundaries, and this was a very good example of trading standards officers working closely together across council boundaries to investigate and bring to justice a serial offender.
“We are grateful to our colleagues from Hampshire County Council for their co-operation and support with this investigation and prosecution.”