Somerset roofer admits to fraud charge

A ROOFER ignored an elderly man’s consumer rights and wrongly claimed work was needed on his Dorchester home, a court heard.

William Birch called at the house of a 75-year-old man in the county town and offered to fit plastic edging to his roof for £99.

The man agreed but Birch failed to give the required notice of a seven-day cancellation period.

When he started work, Birch claimed the roof was rotten and needed £4,500 worth of repairs.

Birch was later arrested after a neighbour alerted police. An expert who examined the roof said the work was unnecessary.

Birch, 40, of Whitegates Caravan Park, Bridgwater, Somerset, admitted fraudulently failing to give a consumer their rights to cancel a job at Weymouth Magistrates Court.

He was sentenced to three months imprisonment, suspended for a year, and given a community order with 150 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £150 compensation and £1,000 costs.

Trading standards service manager for Dorset County Council Ivan Hancock said: “We recommend that residents do not deal with traders ‘cold calling’.”

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