A Pembrokeshire trader who targeted local authority tenants and the elderly appeared before a judge on Monday.
David John Hanford, formerly of Glen Villas, Mastlebridge, Milford Haven, appeared at Swansea county court after failing to comply with a court order to trade fairly, issued last August.
Mr Hanford traded under the business names Apex UPVC, Apex Plastics and Roofing and most recently One Call Repairs. Over the years he operated from different trading addresses, making it difficult for consumers to trace him.
He cold called house holders across south Wales offering replacement fascia and guttering, roofing services and a maintenance contract for general household repairs.
The court heard that many of his customers were elderly; one agreed to have their roof painted but the paint was applied directly over moss growing on the roof tiles.
Another agreed to a replacement roof but had to pursue Mr Hanford to complete the work, despite repeated demands for cash payments upfront being met. When contacted by phone, Mr Hanford would hang up. When complete the roof was leaking and daylight could be seen coming through roof tiles. An independent examination stated half of the roof felt had not even been renewed.
Other evidence of numerous complainants was presented to the court by Pembrokeshire Trading Standards. It was alleged that Mr Hanford :-
• Made false claims of working for or being endorsed by the Local Authority.
• Failed to give consumers a written notice of their right to cancel an agreement.
• Failed to refund deposits legally obliged to be returned.
• Failed to disclose his name and address on business documents.
• Carried out poor standards of work.
• Failed to complete work and redress complaints.
• Sometimes acted in an aggressive manner.
His Honour Judge Vosper QC was satisfied with the evidence and the number of attempts by Pembrokeshire County Council Trading Standards to seek compliance. He issued Mr Hanford with a full enforcement order under the Enterprise Act 2002 and agreed to include additional terms to further protect consumers.
The full order stipulates that Mr Hanford must comply with specific conditions in order to ensure that he trades within the law.
Should Mr Hanford breach any of the terms of the order he could face criminal charges for contempt of court and a prison sentence.
The action was brought by Pembrokeshire County Council Trading Standards Team and Mr Hanford was ordered to pay £4,875 towards the council’s legal costs.