19th February 2024

Contractor fined for keeping deposit

A fencing contractor has been prosecuted by Bath & North East Somerset Trading Standards for taking a deposit and failing to carry out work.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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Householders should be able to trust contractors they employ to safeguard any monies paid to them for materials and to complete the job in line with the specification

A fencing contractor from Wiltshire who took deposits for work that was never carried out has been fined following an investigation and prosecution by Bath & North East Somerset Council Trading Standards.

Officers began an investigation into Mark Harris (47), trading as A/M Fencing and Repairs of Lower South Wraxall, after receiving a complaint from an elderly resident.

They found that Harris had taken a deposit of £840 for materials and then failed to carry out the work. He then failed to return money, despite the consumer’s requests for a refund.

On 17 January Harris pleaded guilty at Bath Magistrates Court to one offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

He returned to court on 14 February for sentencing and was ordered to pay a fine of £384, a victim surcharge of £154 and prosecution costs of £1,734. Since pleading guilty Harris has refunded the consumer their £840 deposit.

Councillor Kevin Guy, Bath & North East Somerset Council Leader, said: “Householders should be able to trust contractors they employ to safeguard any monies paid to them for materials and to complete the job in line with the specification.

“We hope that this prosecution sends out a clear message that our Trading Standards team will not hesitate to investigate and take action against those tradesmen who commit crime.”

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