A rogue builder who thought he had slipped the net was finally brought to justice and ordered to pay a total of £6,573 in compensation and costs after misleading a customer.

James Christopher Gray of Brentwood Essex pleaded guilty to two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and was sentenced at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 2 May 2019.

In 2016, he took thousands of pounds from his customer, claiming to need the money to buy a shed and slabs for work he was completing in that customer’s garden. The items never materialised and following a complaint and investigation by Enfield Council Trading Officers, he was summoned to a court hearing in 2017 – to which he never showed up. He then seemed to disappear.

Nearly two years later, Gray was arrested on 1 May 2019 on an unrelated matter and officers discovered there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. After spending one night in a police cell, he faced the District Judge to answer to the charges related to his actions in 2016. He was ordered to pay £2,493.26 in costs and compensation of £4,080.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Licensing & Regulatory Services, Cllr George Savva, said: “You really can’t escape your past. Enfield Council’s Trading Standards Officers and Legal Team will make sure residents get the justice they deserve – even if it means a lengthy wait.

“I would urge anyone looking for a tradesperson to do as much research as possible to make sure you are purchasing a reputable and reliable service before handing over any money.”

For more information on Trading Standards, see our dedicated webpage:
If you have concerns about  rogue traders, speak to Citizens Advice Consumer Service. Their website can be found here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

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