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Local rogue trader fined for targeting 82 year old

Tony John Small of Ashley Farm, Grafton Lane, Hereford was fined £1000 and ordered to pay £500 costs at Hereford Magistrates Court this week (15 January), after pleading guilty to two ‘rogue trader’ offences.

In a case taken by Herefordshire Council’s trading standards service, Mr Small, trading as TJS Roofing, had cold-called 82 year old Mrs Price in Hereford last summer.  He had quoted £300 to do re-pointing work on her garage and failed to give her a seven day cooling off period. He started work immediately and when finished demanded £650, more than double that agreed, claiming extra work had been needed. A council surveyor who examined the job said the work was poor quality and done properly, should only of cost £300.

The Magistrates heard that Mr Small had a long history of previous convictions for theft and other offences and had over £3000 in outstanding court fines.

Herefordshire Council’s head of consumer and business protection, Mike Pigrem, said after the hearing: “Tackling rogue traders who prey on the elderly and vulnerable is the number one priority for our team. This is one of many cases we have taken in recent years with the valuable help of West Mercia Police, in order to clamp down on this type of doorstep crime.

“During the last few years, victims of rogue trading in Herefordshire could easily have been losing as much as £1 million a year. But the council’s ‘zero tolerance’ stance and a succession of important prosecutions, has made a considerable impact on the problem, making significant savings for consumers.

“We would urge all residents not to deal with anyone who cold-calls them at the door or on the telephone. There are no exceptions to this rule as virtually all rogue trading is operated in this way. If you need any property repairs then we advise consulting the council’s trader register at www.traderregister.org/herefordshire