A roofer who left customers with large repair bills after carrying out shoddy work has today been jailed for 3 years and 3 months.
Jamie John Smith, 36, of Kerrow Lane, Stenalees, St Austell, Cornwall, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court today after pleading guilty on 7 July to one count of participating in a fraudulent roofing business.
Smith, who operated under several different trading names, was convicted following a prosecution taken by Bristol City Council after an investigation by the National Trading Standards South West Regional Investigation Team.
Complaints were made by 20 victims, who between them lost a total of £133,000 and had to pay over £87,000 to have his work rectified.
Smith carried out most of his roofing work between 2018 and 2020. He used five different trading names including KJR Roofing, CW Roofing and West Country Roofing. He often set up businesses in the names of others to try to hide his involvement.
The complaints against Smith came from Somerset, Bristol, Bath, Devon, Wiltshire and South Wales and all followed a similar pattern.
A small job would be escalated to something much larger, with Smith highlighting non-existent problems. The consumer would then be put under pressure to agree to the extra work. There was usually no written quote before any work started, or documents setting out a consumer’s cancellation rights. The quality of the work was always very poor – and on more than one occasion he took money and no work was done at all.
Mayor Marvin Rees, who has responsibility for Trading Standards at Bristol City Council, said:
“It is our duty to protect the public from rogue traders and I am really pleased to see this man has been brought to justice. Rogue traders like Smith do not recognise local authority boundaries and this case further demonstrates the value of Bristol City Council hosting the National Trading Standards Regional Investigation Team. This case also demonstrates the remarkable skill and dedication of the team, who work cross-boundary to secure justice for their victims.
“As always, we would encourage people to take care when employing a tradesperson. Word-of-mouth recommendations from trusted friends can be invaluable, and we would urge people never to agree to work following a cold call or knock at the door.”
Lord Michael Bichard, Chair, National Trading Standards, said:
“Homeowners across the south west and Wales placed their trust in this man and were left bitterly regretful that they did so. I congratulate all involved for a thorough and diligent investigation which has, thankfully, stopped this individual from harming anyone else.
“At a time when people are concerned about their finances, we would urge caution if a tradesperson you don’t know quotes verbally for work at a very low price. It’s always worth taking the time to research and find a reputable professional whose background you can verify.”
Notes to Editors
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About National Trading Standards
National Trading Standards delivers national and regional consumer protection enforcement. Its Board is made up of senior and experienced heads of local government trading standards from around England and Wales with an independent Chair. Its purpose is to protect consumers and safeguard legitimate businesses by tackling serious national and regional consumer protection issues and organised criminality and by providing a “safety net” to limit unsafe consumer goods entering the UK and protecting food supplies by ensuring the animal feed chain is safe.