28th February 2024

Hampshire roofing fraudster jailed

A rogue roofer who ripped off 29 homeowners has been jailed after action by Hampshire Trading Standards.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
This is another successful prosecution which has led to a jail sentence for an unscrupulous rogue trader

A rogue roofing contractor has been jailed for five years for three counts of fraud, following an investigation by Hampshire County Council Trading Standards.

Lawrence Martin (36), of Burnham Chase in Southampton, made false claims to homeowners about the necessity of work to be carried out at their properties and the value of that work. He also falsely claimed that payments made had been used to purchase non-existent building materials and offered refunds that never materialised.

In total Martin defrauded the owners of 29 properties across Hampshire, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight to the tune of £642,850.

In October 2023 Martin pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation, participating in a fraudulent business, and carrying out the business of a limited company for a fraudulent purpose.

At Southampton Crown Court on 21 February Martin was sentenced to five years in jail. The Judge also imposed a Criminal Behaviour Order for ten years prohibiting him from undertaking various activities.

Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet Lead for Regulatory Services, Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, said: “This is another successful prosecution by the County Council’s Trading Standards team which has led to a jail sentence for an unscrupulous rogue trader.

“In this case, Mr Martin’s fraudulent con would often start as simple low-cost home or roof repairs, but he would then claim more extensive repairs were required, increasing the price substantially. This work was then carried out to a poor standard, or not done at all.

“On numerous occasions unsatisfied customers were offered refunds which failed to appear. I hope this result acts as a deterrent to any would-be fraudsters.”

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