Richard Williams and Paul Withers, who traded under various names including Platinum Roofing, were both sentenced to 14 months in prison at Bristol Crown Court after pleading guilty to fraudulent trading.
Williams, (aged 54) of Lockleaze, and Withers (48) of Horfield, pleaded guilty to the fraud offences brought against them by Bristol City Council’s trading standards team after evidence gathered from homeowners showed that they provided false business information and took large payments upfront.
The pair were found to have given false and misleading information about how long they had been in business and also concealed their real business address in an attempt to prevent consumers from contacting them if they had any problems.
One of their victims, who used her life savings and inheritance money to pay Platinum Roofing more than £42,000 to build an extension to her house, was left with unfinished work, no kitchen fittings, exposed gas pipes and electricity fixings, and leaks in her kitchen and bathroom.
Williams and Withers carried out work on four properties in the same road, and three homes elsewhere in Bristol between December 2016 and May 2018, and at each house, failed to complete the work as agreed, and in some instances, carried out building work without the homeowner’s permission.
Both men pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading but disputed how much money they had caused their seven victims to lose.
In his sentencing remarks His Honour Judge Foster dismissed a defence submission for a suspended sentence and spoke about the dishonesty and disorganisation of the two men.
City councillor Steve Pearce said: “The victims in this case were all left thousands of pounds out of pocket. The conviction and sentencing of these men reiterate our ongoing pledge to bringing to justice individuals and companies that are happy to defraud the public. We are committed to helping keep people and their money safe from rogue traders. Those who commit such crimes do not care how they leave a property, and they do not care about the financial loss or suffering the victims experience as a result of their actions.”
Mr Williams and Mr Withers are subject to a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, which will be heard at a later date.