On Thursday, rogue builder, Ronald Wright (53), of Oak Crescent, Leamore, Walsall, was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment at Leamington Court Centre following a lengthy investigation by the Central England Trading Standards Scambuster Team.
Wright had previously pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to 16 charges of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by a deception, contrary to section 16 of the Theft Act 1968, 1 charge of using a false instrument contrary to section 3 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 and 2 offences of attempting to obtain property by deception, contrary to section 1 the Criminal Attempts Act 1981.
Wright took on work for consumers across the Midlands, taking many thousands of pounds from these consumers but never actually completing any of the work started. He left his consumers in a position where they had to get the work re-done by others, resulting in considerable hardship and additional cost to the consumer. In some cases the consumers had to start the work from the beginning.
His victims were across Walsall, Birmingham, Staffordshire, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.
The 19 offences to which he pleaded guilty related to approximately £750,000 obtained by him from consumers, and covered a time period of over 6 years, from 1999 to 2006.
In sentencing him, Recorder Morse gave Wright credit for his guilty pleas entered, but said that he suspected that Wright was out to take as much money from his customers as possible but with the intention of doing the minimal amount of work. Recorder Morse further said that Wright’s dishonesty overtook his inability to manage at an early stage, and commended the investigators for an in-depth investigation.
The leader of the CEnTSA Scambusters Team, Phil Page, said ‘We are satisfied with the result of this case which has come about after a lengthy and complex investigation into a builder who caused chaos for his customers. This will send out a strong message to dishonest traders that this type of activity will not be tolerated and they will be brought to justice.’
The Central England Trading Standards (CEnTSA) Scambuster Team is a Regional Team covering 14 Local Authorities across the Midlands.
The Team is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and is one of 8 Regional teams across Britain. It is hosted by Solihull MBC on behalf of the 14 authorities that make up CEnTSA. These authorities are Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Telford & Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire.