05 February 2016

Two men who tricked their victims into handing over thousands of pounds for unnecessary, poor quality or overpriced home repairs have been sentenced at Northampton Crown Court today (Friday).

An investigation by Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards found that Sean Lowther and James Delaney called at a number of homes in Northampton and Wellingborough between January and December 2014 and told residents work needed to be carried out on their property.

Delaney was sentenced to 32 months in prison, while Lowther was sentenced to 32 months custody for the Northamptonshire offences plus a further six months for similar offences in Nottinghamshire.

The victims would agree a price and hand over an initial sum of money. The two men would then carry out some work, often increasing the cost to the homeowner or leaving the job unfinished.

Surveyors later confirmed that the work carried out – including roof repairs and block paving – was to such a poor standard it had little or no value.

Victims lost between £560 and £6,000, and one victim was even taken to a cashpoint by Lowther to withdraw more money.

Lowther and Delaney, both of Northampton at the time of the offences, admitted a charge of being party to a fraudulent business contrary to Section 9 of the Fraud Act at a hearing last month (8 January).

Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth, said: “This is yet another significant result for our Trading Standards team and demonstrates our commitment to tackling rogue traders.

“We can work with communities to help them establish No Cold Calling zones and our advice to residents about cold callers is to just say no.

“Residents who want to commission home repairs can find trusted, reputable traders through our Buy With Confidence scheme.”