Rogue Roofer Refunds Customers £9,000 to Avoid Prison

A ROGUE ROOFER has avoided an immediate prison sentence after refunding customers £9,000 following a successful prosecution by Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards Team.

Trading under various business names, including Southwest Roofing, Cautious Roofing, and Mini Roofing, rogue roofer Shane Lee carried out substandard – and in some cases unnecessary – roofing work at a number of properties between October 2019 and March 2021.

At one property, loose wires were left exposed in areas where leaks had not been rectified. In another, Lee had been contracted to pressure-wash moss from a roof, charging a rate that would have earned him £500 an hour.

Rogue Roofer Refunds Customers

At a hearing on 25 August 2022, Shane Lee pleaded guilty to one charge under Section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 (fraudulent trading).

The court heard Lee was offering 20-year guarantees to customers that he was unwilling to honour and often became aggressive when challenged. When a customer of Southwest Roofing attempted to contact Lee about the poor workmanship, Lee claimed the business was “going bust” and refused to resolve the issues. Immediately after, he started trading under a new business name.

During the August hearing, Judge Robert Linford indicated that Lee might avoid an immediate custodial sentence if refunds were made to the victims involved in the case.

Those monies, in the region of £9,000, have since been refunded.

Sentencing

At Truro Crown Court on December 23, 2022, Shane Lee (Senior) of Boscawen Lane, Blackwater, was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months for fraudulent trading.

He was also ordered to pay £1,000 towards court costs and given a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order relating to trading practices.

Gary Webster, Fair Trading Team Manger at Cornwall Council, said: “This is just another example of criminal practices that leave customers frustrated, angry, and out-of-pocket, with their homes at risk to further damage from the elements.

“We believe that the strong sentences send a clear message that we will not tolerate this kind of rogue trading in Cornwall.”

Councillor Carol Mould, Portfolio Holder for the Neighbourhoods at Cornwall Council, added: “I’m really pleased to see that these customers have been refunded their money and I’d like to thank our Trading Standards Team who have worked hard to seek justice on their behalf.

“It is simply not acceptable that people treat their customers in this way. For those who take advantage or put people at risk, we will not hesitate to take action.”

 

>> Read about more roofing court cases in the news

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