13 January 2016

Two cold callers who carried out unnecessary, poor quality home repairs and overcharged victims for the work have appeared in court following a Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards investigation.

Sean Lowther and James Delaney called at homes in Northampton and Wellingborough and told residents work needed to be carried out on their property.

Poor-quality work

In most cases, the two men would then carry out further work increasing the cost to the homeowner. As part of the subsequent investigation, surveyors said the work carried out was to such a poor standard it had no value.

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

Lowther and Delaney, both of Northampton at the time of the offences, carried out the work between January and December 2014, and gave false names to the victims to hide their true identities.

The pair admitted a charge of being party to a fraudulent business contrary to Section 9 of the Fraud Act when they appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Friday (January 8th).

Inflated prices

Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth, said: “In this case, Lowther and Delaney took advantage of homeowners to carry out unnecessary, poor quality work and then inflated their prices. In one incident, Lowther even drove the victim to a cashpoint in order to get more money from them.

“Our advice to residents about cold callers is simple – just say no. If you think you need some work doing around your home, you can find a trusted, reputable trader through our Buy With Confidence scheme by visiting www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders.”

Report it

Liam Condron, Chief Executive of Age UK Northamptonshire, said: “There's no shame or embarrassment in falling victim to a scam – it happens to lots of people. If you report it, it may help to prevent others from experiencing the same thing.”

The Trading Standards investigation related to five incidents, all of which Lowther was involved with and four of which Delaney played a part.

The men are due to be sentenced on 5 February..