Rogue trader punished for scamming thousands from Sheffield couple

A rogue trader has been punished for scamming thousands of pounds from a couple in Sheffield.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 5:46 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 5:48 pm
A warning has been issued about rogue traders.
A warning has been issued about rogue traders.

Sheffield City Council said Michael Renshaw preyed on people who had already been on the receiving end of dodgy building work by claiming he could repair the problems – despite him not having the skills to do the work properly.

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A warning has been issued about rogue traders.

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The authority said the 34-year-old, of Crown Street, Chesterfield, scammed a city couple out of £4,500.

Renshaw pleaded guilty to two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 Act at Sheffield Magistrates Court in January. 

He was ordered to complete 250 hours unpaid work, 20 days rehabilitation and to pay the victims £2,000 compensation during a sentencing hearing at Sheffield Crown Court in March.  

The council is now urging people to be vigilant and warned dodgy traders that they will track them down. 

Ian Ashmore, head of environmental protection service at the council, said: "We take these complaints seriously and will not tolerate targeted financial abuse such as this. I hope this outcome provides a warning to others who show no regard for their victims when carrying out fraudulent activity.

"It’s often vulnerable people who are targeted and it’s very upsetting for those who are swindled. We ask anyone who suspects or witnesses fraudulent activity to report it so that we can protect more people in Sheffield from these types of abuse."

Sheffield Crown Court heard that during 2017 his victims were already experiencing problems and delays with the building of an extension to their home.  

In August of that year, Renshaw was employed by the-then current builder to help move the work on.

Knowing that the couple were experiencing difficulties with their builder, he convinced them he would complete the build for £9,000 if he received £4,500 in advance.

Alarmed by the actions of the first builder and desperate to get the work done, they paid Renshaw the £4, 500. 

But the court heard Renshaw knew he had neither the business nor building skills to manage the project. After two days on site and very little work, he began making a series of excuses and never attended again.

When questioned by trading standards officers he admitted to having no building qualifications or formal training.

Sentencing Renshaw, Judge Dixon said he had a chequered history and had got himself in a financial mess. He had offered a number of false promises to vulnerable people, building up their trust and then did nothing at all.