Rogue roofer receives suspended sentence for series of con-tricks

15 August 2011

A rogue roofer who conned eight victims in North Yorkshire and York out of thousands of pounds has been sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, following a successful prosecution by North Yorkshire County Council’s trading standards officers.

Terrence Burnside, of Pease Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court today to eleven charges of failing to carry out work with professional diligence, using aggressive trading practices, and making false statements.

The court was told that Burnside convinced his victims – the oldest of whom was 87 years of age – that their properties required roofing repairs.

In the case of two of the householders, Burnside charged them £2,500 and £2,400 respectively for the resetting of each property’s ridge tiles. A surveyor examined each roof and found that the work had not in fact taken place. The surveyor was also able to show that at one property, Burnside removed material containing asbestos from the roof, which he then left uncontrolled on the site, thus failing to work with professional diligence.

Burnside pressed one female victim for cash, telling her how much she could withdraw from her bank account each day. He failed to give any of the female householders any written details of who he was or where his business was based. He also failed to give any of the householders notice of the right to cancel the contract for work as required by law.

In total, Burnside was paid over £26,000 by the householders and now faces confiscation proceedings aimed at recovering the money.

As well as receiving a 12 month suspended prison sentence, Burnside was ordered to carry out a maximum of 300 hours unpaid work over the next two years.

County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, North Yorkshire’s executive member for Trading Standards said:

We are determined to do everything possible to stamp out criminal behaviour such as this in North Yorkshire, and we welcome the clear message from the court today.



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