A builder has been jailed after a court heard how he carried out shoddy roofing work at homes, including those of elderly people.
He misled them by claiming he was using new materials when he was not and he overcharged them, Mold Crown Court was told.
Gareth Wyn Mostert, of Maes Gwynfryn, Gwespyr, near Holywell, admitted fraud following complaints from householders in Denbigh, Henllan, Rhyl and Prestatyn.
He was jailed for eight months by Judge Rhys Rowlands.
Mostert, 34, had claimed in an interview with a probation officer the second hand materials he had used were as good, if not better than new, and he had made no gain.
“That gives, from where I sit, a fairly hollow ring to your claim that you are genuinely sorry for your behaviour,” the judge said.
Between October 2010 and September 2012, despite earlier warnings from trading standards officers, Mostert chose to ignore the law in relation to informing customers of their cancellation rights.
He accepted he had been fraudulent regarding the quality of his work, engaging in an unfair commercial practice and failing to take appropriate measures in respect of controlled waste.
There were four victims – two of them in their 70s – and he had continued to offend after he had been interviewed about the earlier offences.
The judge told him: “The prosecution described you as a rogue trader. You were certainly taking advantage of others and deliberately ignoring warnings.”
The judge said costs and compensation orders were impossible because Mostert did not have “a penny piece”.
He said he was not very impressed with the fact that Mostert said he had no money, did not claim benefits, had stopped working, claimed to live thanks to the generosity of friends, could not pay a fine and had told a probation officer he did not want to do unpaid work.
An investigation was first started when builder’s waste was found thrown down a bank towards the River Elwy between St Asaph and Rhuddlan and an address of a man in Denbigh was found.
Environment officials went to speak to that man, aged 70, who told how Mostert had done roofing repairs at his bungalow home.
Prosecuting barrister Tim Evans told how trading standards officials were called in when it emerged Mostert ‘cold called’, claimed to have given the man a good deal but had used recycled plywood instead of new wood and had reused the older robber roofing material instead of replacing it with new.
At Henllan a man engaged him to replace a felt roof for £850 but it was not fitted properly and the felt was the type to be used for a shed. It leaked several times and an expert later said the only remedy was to remove it and start again, at a cost of £1,800.
At Rhyl, a 78-year-old man engaged Mostert to replace a flat roof for £950. But it was not done properly, the material was not suitable, and it would cost £700 to fix.
At Prestatyn, a woman of 69 engaged Mostert to re-roof her conservatory, paid £850, but it continued to leak. The ceiling ‘bowed’ and then collapsed. She later had the work redone at a cost of £650.
Mostert had various trading names, including Gareth Mostert, G M Property Enhancements, G M Roofing, and even Gareth Mostert and Son Roofing and Building Contractors, even though he did not have a son old enough to trade.
He admitted fraud in 20011 and 2012 by falsely claiming he had carried out work and failing to disclose information and failed to ensure building waste was sent to an authorised site.
He admitted other offences including engaging in an unfair commercial practice by failing to give people cancellation rights, providing no written quote or contract, doing work of poor quality not fit for purpose and making inaccurate claim about after-care and guarantees.
Simon Rogers, defending, said Mostert had not targeted the elderly, the overall figure involved in the fraud was £6,550 which was at the lower end of the scale for such offences, he was a low risk of offending, and had no previous similar convictions.
See full story in the Leader