A ROGUE trader must complete 240 hours of free community work and pay almost £20,000 after he completed unnecessary roofing work.

Joe Cooper made false claims about his work, including that there was a “15-year guarantee” attached, but then ignored customers who contacted him attempting to rectify issues.

Eleven customers of Cooper’s Redmore Roofing and Guttering Services complained about the work he carried out between August 2020 and July 2021.

The work mainly included the installation of guttering, fascias and soffits, and they had responded to flyers posted through their letterboxes.

In a prosecution brought by Wiltshire Council, Trading Standards said work completed by Cooper, of Calcutt Caravan Park in Cricklade, was substandard and that he falsely claimed work was needed on properties when it in fact was not.

They also arranged for surveyors to examine some of the complainant’s properties, finding Cooper’s work was poor quality and was of virtually nil value, described by experts as “quite appalling and non-compliant with building regulations”.

Appearing at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, April 22, the 44-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation, four counts of knowingly or recklessly engaging in a commercial practice, and failing without reasonable excuse to comply with disclosure requirements listed in the Companies Act.

He was given an 18-month community order, which included 240 hours of unpaid work which must be completed within the next year.

Cooper was told to pay a total of £15,710 in compensation to his victims, as well as £3,723.73 towards the council's costs.

It totalled £19,528.73.

Reacting to the sentence, Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “Rogue traders cause misery for our residents by taking their money without doing the agreed work or carrying out work to an unacceptable standard.

“As this case shows, our trading standards team will do all they can to protect people against rogue traders here in Wiltshire, and I hope this conviction and fine sends a clear message to any unscrupulous traders that we will take action to stop this malpractice.

“To help guard against rogue traders, people should not agree to any building work with cold callers; ask for written quotes; ask to see ID and also seek out independent references.

“To help find one of the many excellent trusted traders we have here in Wiltshire, people should also contact a regulatory or trade body to ensure any tradesperson is a registered member of the organisation.”