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Builders fined over £9,000 following trading standards investigation


Misleading advertising and failure to give cancellation rights landed a building firm in Cheltenham magistrates’ court earlier this month.

Gloucestershire trading standards officers investigated two separate complaints from residents in the Cheltenham area, leading to the prosecution of the building company R Richards and Son Limited, Robert Richards (46), sole director of the company and the company’s sales manager, Marcus Lewis (35).

The company advertised their business displaying logos for trader approval schemes. However the court heard that the company was not a member of these organisations and had no right to display their logos. Neither householder was given information regarding their cancellation rights prior to agreeing for work to be undertaken.

One of householders chose the firm to safely dispose of asbestos from his garage roof. Instead of loading the asbestos roof straight onto a vehicle as agreed, the builders deposited it outside the garage and told the householder that they could not carry on with the work without more money.

The company pleaded guilty to five charges; Richards to two charges and Lewis to one charge.

Magistrates imposed a £2000 fine on Richards with £1,393 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

The company was fined £1,000 plus a £50 victim surcharge and £721costs. The company was also ordered to pay £2000 compensation to the consumer.

Lewis was also ordered to pay £2000 compensation and £722.60 costs.

Head of Gloucestershire trading standards, Andy Hermiston, said: “This prosecution not only helps protect consumers but also supports genuine firms who belong to trade organisations and have worked hard to build a trusted reputation.”