A depressed roofer who admitted misleading of a vulnerable customer has been ordered to pay £6,000 compensation and handed a six-month suspended prison sentence.

Scott Keane, of St Davids Close, Milford Haven, admitted four counts of unfair trading when he appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court in November last year.

These included engaging in a commercial practice which, by omission, was misleading; two counts of engaging in a commercial practice which contained false information, and engaging in a commercial practice which contravened the requirements of professional diligence.

All offences took place in Hook, near Haverfordwest between August 2, 2020, and November 1 2021.

Keane, 41, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, January 13.

The court heard that Keane had misled the woman by claiming that a replacement flat roof was fit for purpose and that there would be a 10-year guarantee on the work. He did not provide the woman with paperwork informing her of her rights and there was no aftercare.

The disabled woman had contacted Keane in 2020 to replace the roof after seeing an advert on Facebook. He told her it would cost £7,900 and asked for a £4,000 deposit, which she paid.

She asked for paperwork, but it was not provided. There was a delay in starting the work, as the defendant had been in hospital, and at one point the woman thought she had been victim of a scam.

Work eventually got underway but there were problems with the work and the roof leaked.

A subsequent expert report found the work to be of a poor standard.

The court heard that Keane had received written warnings and advice from trading standards in the past.

The woman had been told that it would cost £6,000 to rectify Keane’s work; the whole experience had caused her ‘a significant amount of stress and discomfort’.

The court heard that Keane had 13 previous convictions for 25 offences which included driving offences, assault and breaches of community orders.

In his defence it was said that Keane had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and that there were no similar offences among his previous convictions.

The court heard that he was a skilled builder, but had fallen through the old roof, broken his ribs and was in pain. He also suffers from anxiety and depression which had been particularly bad before the offences, to the point where he hadn’t wanted to get out of bed and go to work.

Keane, who had been in the building trade since he was 16, had apologised to the woman.

Testimonials from other customers read out to the court praised Keane for doing ‘absolutely amazing’ work and a ‘great job’.

The court head that Keane had ceased trading but was doing some building work with his brother.

Keane was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation requirement and must pay the woman £6,000 compensation.

There was no order made for costs, which were said to be in excess of £2,000.