A DARLINGTON man is facing six months behind bars following a prosecution brought by North Yorkshire County Council Trading Standards Service for offences he committed in the Northallerton area of the Yorkshire Dales.
Paul Golding, a plumber from Cumberland Street, Darlington, was sentenced at Teeside Crown Court, for the second time in 18 months.
We are committed to taking appropriate action in all cases such as these where rogue traders consistently flout the law
John Fort - North Yorkshire County Council
The investigation was conducted after complaints were received from householders in the Northallerton area regarding false statements made about goods, such as high value bathroom and kitchen fittings, which Golding claimed to have ordered on their behalf and his failure to complete work, despite having taken full payment.
The false statements related to claims as to whether he had purchased or ordered bathrooms, kitchens and windows. The amounts paid by his customers ranged from a few hundred pounds to almost £10,000.
Golding, 49, was prosecuted in June 2005 by North Yorkshire Trading Standards for similar offences after he falsely stated to an 86 year old woman in Northallerton that her heating boiler needed replacing and for then failing to complete the work after he had taken full payment for the boiler.
On that occasion he was sentenced by Teesside Crown Court to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years. He also had to pay prosecution costs of £4,420 and paid compensation of £1,317 to the victim.
He has now pleaded guilty to a further 8 offences for making false statements under the Trade Descriptions Act and for deception offences in relation to the claims made about ordered goods and for failing to complete works.
He was sentenced to six months imprisonment on each of the eight offences, the sentences to run concurrently. He was also ordered to repay nearly £13,500 to his victims, with a further £300 each to four of his victims. In addition, the judge ordered him to pay £2,500 costs to North Yorkshire County Council.
County Councillor John Fort, Executive Member for North Yorkshire County Council Trading Standards Service, said: "I hope this will send a stark warning to traders who believe they can get away with trading fraudulently and ripping off North Yorkshire consumers.
"We are committed to taking appropriate action in all cases such as these where rogue traders consistently flout the law.
"Consumers and honest businesses in North Yorkshire can have confidence that our Trading Standards Service is doing all it can to protect them from rogue traders such as Golding".