Suspended sentence for Bridgend rogue trader

A rogue trader who took £6,000 from an elderly Bridgend County Borough resident has been found guilty following a doorstep crime investigation by Shared Regulatory Services.

Cardiff Crown Court heard on Friday 18 September how Charles Price of Cae Garw Caravan Park, Pyle, called at the home of an elderly resident. He claimed that he had spotted a problem with the roof of the property while working on another house in the street.

While a price of £550 was agreed for repairs, no paperwork was provided so the resident never really knew who he was dealing with or what the required cancellation rights were for the work.

Over the coming days, Mr Price claimed that far more work was needed than had been agreed and convinced the resident to hand over £6,000.

When he tried to increase this to £9,000, officers from the Shared Regulatory Services of Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan councils became involved.

An investigation led to an entry warrant being executed at Mr Price’s property, resulting in a sum of £3,200 in cash being seized along with flyers and other materials related to his roofing work.

A charted surveyor who assessed the work at the elderly resident’s home found that it should have cost no more than £1,700, including any profit.

After pleading guilty to offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, the court sentenced Charles Price to 16 months custody suspended for two years, 200 hours community service and eight days rehabilitation.

He also awarded the victim compensation of £3,200 – the exact amount which had been previously seized at Mr Price’s property.

Cllr Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations said: “I am grateful to the dedicated officers who worked tirelessly to support the elderly resident and to bring Mr Price to justice after his blatant profiteering and disregard left the resident substantially out-of-pocket.

“This case serves as a reminder that rogue traders continue to operate despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and that we must all work together as neighbours, friends and family to look out for vulnerable residents, and to help protect them from being exploited.

“Bridgend County Borough has many excellent, legitimate businesses which will carry out comprehensive services for residents, and I urge residents not to engage with cold-callers who offer to carry out home improvements.”