Following investigation by the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) Trading Standards supported by the PPP Joint Case Management Unit, on 8 March 2018, Mr Kevin Carter of Jupiter Way, Wokingham, trading as Haughton Green Builders, pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly or recklessly engaging in a commercial practice that contravened the requirements of professional diligence contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 when he appeared at Reading Crown Court.
Between 1 September 2015 and 15 December 2015 an agreement was reached for Mr Carter to build a single storey extension with a shower room and a utility room and other ancillary work at a complainant’s property in Hurst, Reading. Mr Carter claimed he could complete the work within four weeks but after being paid total of £29,000, and after three months, the work had still not been completed.
The work was of a poor standard and was not water tight with a risk of the roof collapsing. The gas meter was condemned after being moved leaving the complainants with a gas leak. The work was of such a poor standard that a Chartered Building Surveyor advised it would be more cost effective to take down the extension and start again than to try to repair the problems.
Sentencing Mr Carter, Recorder Studd QC, stated “There have been health and safety issues with the victim’s roof”. Mr Carter was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work by way of community order, this being increased from 80 hours because Mr Carter was in breach of Undertaking he signed with Bracknell Forest Trading Standards binding him to comply with relevant legislative requirements.
Commenting on the case Cllr Norman Jorgensen, Chairman of the Public Protection Joint Committee, said: “The Public Protection Partnership will always investigate such complaints by the public and legal action will follow where appropriate. This kind of offending that leaves people with unsafe property and out-of-pocket is completely unacceptable. We believe this sentence sends a clear message to would-be perpetrators.”
He went on to say: “All residents of Bracknell Forest, West Berkshire or Wokingham councils that have concerns about activity of this nature, or any other trading standards or public protection matter, should contact the service on 01635 519930 or e-mail email@example.com”.
The Public Protection Partnership is a shared service of Bracknell Forest Council, West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council and delivers trading standards, environmental health and licensing functions.