A callous Sheffield tradesmen who ripped off several customers and left kitchen and bathroom refits unfinished, has avoided a prison term.
Sheffield Magistrates' Court heard Colin Shaw, aged 68, of Hazlebarrow Crescent, Jordanthorpe, misled his customers in order to obtain cash up front, carried out poor quality work and in many cases failed to complete jobs.
During 2015 and 2016, the court heard he would quote for home improvement works such as bathroom and kitchen refits and then falsely claimed money was required to pay for materials which he had never paid for and which never materialised.
His failure to provide a prof service, and abandon jobs after shoddy or unfinished work, caused 'considerable financial detriment and distress' to his customers, the court heard.
One of the householders who was left out of pocket due to Shaw’s actions has today welcomed his sentencing.
The resident, who asked to remain anonymous said: “Mr Shaw caused us a great deal of upset and resulted in considerable financial losses.
“We’re relieved that he has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced, and we hope that it will prevent others undergoing the same ordeal.”
Sheffield City Council’s trading standards team began an investigation after receiving complaints against Shaw, who traded as MJ Kitchens, MJ Home Improvements and Interior Improvements.
Shaw received a four-month prison sentence for each of the fraud offences suspended for one year, to run concurrently. He was also ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £5,137 in costs, as well as a £80 victim surcharge.
The 68-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to eight offences; three under the Fraud Act and five under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, at a hearing on January 24.
Coun Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment at Sheffield Council said: “As our Not Born Yesterday campaign demonstrates, we at Sheffield Council are committed to protecting residents, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities, from aggressive and fraudulent trading.
“We are grateful to all those who came forward to provide evidence during the investigation and would encourage people to report incidents, whatever their concerns, so we can take action.
“Our Trading Standards team will carry out thorough investigations and work hard to ensure that, wherever possible, rogue traders are caught and brought to justice so they can’t take advantage of any more householders in such a cruel and callous way.”