May 21, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Rogue trader who left homeowners out of pocket is jailed

Scales of Justice

A rogue trader who left a string of homeowners out of pocket has been jailed at Truro Crown Court following a prosecution by Cornwall Council Trading Standards.

William Shawn Hook of Roskear, Camborne, trading as Hook Services, was sentenced to nine-and-a-half month for an offence of fraudulent trading under Section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006.

He will serve half of his sentence under licence. Hook had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing where the court was told how he undertook garden landscaping and fencing work that was not started, or carried out so badly that it had to be put right by others.

The offending took place between October 2018 and December 2021.  Hook has yet to refund any of the customers, who were left out of pocket by £12,500.

Gary Webster, Fair Trading Team Manager said: “Despite taking deposits and asking for further money to buy materials, customers saw little evidence of the work progressing.

“His frustrated customers were given numerous excuses and promises of refunds never materialised.

“Due to current demand, finding a trustworthy trader can be challenging. We would urge consumers to consider using the Buy With Confidence Scheme, which gives people access to a list of reliable traders that have been vetted and approved by Trading Standards to ensure that they operate in a legal, honest and fair way.

“Details of approved traders can be found on the Cornwall Council website.”

Cllr Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder for the environment, said: “This is a great success for the team, and sends out a clear message to all those who may try to target homeowners in Cornwall that we will not rest until you have been made to pay for your crimes.”