Rogue trader jailed and banned for life over shoddy work and inflated prices in Sheffield
A builder has been jailed for a year and banned from trading for life after a string of complaints to Sheffield’s Trading Standards landed him in court.
Anthony Robinson, aged 69, of Belvedere Close, North Anston, ‘left a trail of angry, dissatisfied customers that reported their concerns to Trading Standards’ according to Sheffield City Council.
During a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court, it emerged that between April 2018 and March 2019, whilst trading as Christian Alexander Developments Ltd, C A Developments and Ryan Construction, the builder obtained over £103,000 from his victims.
His offending followed the same pattern, with Robinson promising to build extensions, with much of the price paid in advance, before customers then experienced delays, poor workmanship, aggressive demands for more money and a failure to complete the build, according to Sheffield City Council.
In the case of one victim, expert evidence from a surveyor concluded that the workmanship was so poor the whole extension had to be demolished to ground level and re-built.
She had paid Robinson £15,000 but was left with demolition costs of £4,000 and a further £17,000 to rebuild.
The stress left her ill, unable to work and the time spent trying to sort out the problems dominated her life.
Another customer had paid £25,000 only for Robinson to walk away from the project, ignoring all requests for a refund.
Robinson also inflated the cost of his work by falsely charging his victims VAT when he was unregistered and not entitled to.
He was jailed and banned from working in the trade indefinitely after pleading guilty to offences of unfair and misleading trading.
When first interviewed by Trading Standards officers, Robinson claimed all his victims still owed him money.
Mr Recorder David Gordon told Robinson that he had caused a high degree of harm to his customers, stating he was ‘unscrupulous’ on repeat occasions.
Councillor Paul Wood, Executive Member for Housing, Roads and Waste Management for Sheffield City Council, said: “This is the second case we have brought before the courts in the space of a week and it again highlights the risks that rogue traders pose to our communities. So often the harm caused by this type of offending is much greater than simply financial.
“Residents have every right to expect trustworthy and professional services and our officers remain committed to investigating those who exploit that trust through scams and rogue trading. I’m really pleased that the judge has supported our efforts to put a stop to people like Robinson, with a sentence that reflects the severity of his crime and sends a clear message to others, we won’t stand for it.
“This work is part of our wider strategy in partnership with the Sheffield Safeguarding Board, to protect our residents from these criminals, catch the offenders and prevent further offences on vulnerable people.”
Anyone with concerns or suspicions about a scam, rogue trader or fraudulent business activity can report them to Sheffield Trading Standards at [email protected] or 0114 2736290.
Citizens Advice can also be reached on 03454 040506.