9 February 2017
A tradesman has been sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for a year, following an investigation by Sheffield City Council’s trading standards team into his rogue trading.
Colin Graham Shaw, of Hazlebarrow Crescent, Jordanthorpe, appeared before Sheffield Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 7 February for sentence.
The 68-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to eight offences; three under the Fraud Act and five under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, at a hearing on 24 January.
Sheffield City Council’s trading standards team began an investigation after receiving complaints against Shaw, who traded as MJ Kitchens, MJ Home Improvements and Interior Improvements.
Shaw misled his customers in order to obtain payment up front, carried out poor quality work and in many cases failed to complete jobs.
During 2015 and 2016 he would quote for home improvement works such as bathroom and kitchen refits. He then falsely claimed that money was required to pay for materials which he had never paid for and which never materialised.
His failure to provide a professional service, and abandon jobs after shoddy or unfinished work, caused considerable financial detriment and distress to his customers.
Shaw received a four-month prison sentence for each of the fraud offences (suspended for one year), to run concurrently. He was also ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £5,137 in costs, as well as a £80 victim surcharge.
Councillor Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Sheffield City Council, said:
“As our Not Born Yesterday campaign demonstrates, we at Sheffield City Council are committed to protecting residents, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities, from aggressive and fraudulent trading.
“We are grateful to all those who came forward to provide evidence during the investigation and would encourage people to report incidents, whatever their concerns, so we can take action.
“Our Trading Standards team will carry out thorough investigations and work hard to ensure that, wherever possible, rogue traders are caught and brought to justice so they can’t take advantage of any more householders in such a cruel and callous way.”
One of the householders who was left out of pocket due to Shaw’s actions has welcomed his sentencing.
The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Mr Shaw caused us a great deal of upset and resulted in considerable financial losses.
“We’re relieved that he has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced, and we hope that it will prevent others undergoing the same ordeal.”
- People with concerns or suspicions about a scam, rogue trader or fraudulent business activity can report those concerns to Sheffield Trading Standards by phone on 0114 2736290, by email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the Citizens Advice Helpline on 03454 040506.
- Find out more about our Not Born Yesterday campaign, which aims to crack down on scammers and rogue traders, here