Consumers receive a total of over £59,000 in compensation from rogue traders
April 21, 2016 1 Comment
A very special event took place at Endeavour House, Ipswich yesterday, as Officers from Suffolk County Council Trading Standards alongside Councillor Sarah Stamp were able to present a cheque totalling £59,000 to consumers who had fallen victims of rogue traders who operated in the Suffolk and Essex areas.
The consumers, aged between 57 and 87 were invited to the Headquarters of Suffolk County Council where they were reunited once again with their hard-earned money, their life savings in some cases.
In March 2015, Thomas Doran, 39 of Weeley, Clacton-on Sea, along with his son Myles Doran, 18, pleaded guilty to 10 charges under consumer protection legislation including using aggressive practices and demanding upfront cash payments from victims.
In August 2012 Suffolk Trading Standards received a complaint about the activities of a doorstep trader on a road in central Ipswich and responded to rapid response call – this resulted in an investigation.
Both Dorans, working under the business name of Clacton Reinforced Paving Ltd, performed works on driveways for older people in Suffolk and Essex and would often start work before the end of the seven-day cancellation period.
If a customer asked the Dorans to delay the start of their works, they would carry on regardless and would demand cash payments – on one occasion they took the customer to the bank to withdraw cash.
Other charges included using a trade body approval badge from the Guild of Master Craftsmen to make claims about guarantees and qualified workers, when they were not members.
Thomas Doran was sentenced to 16 months in concurrent jail sentences, suspended for two years, and banned from being a company director for seven years.
Myles Doran was sentenced to a community order of 18 months with 18 months supervision, and 80 hours of unpaid work.
Costs of approximately £9,000 were ordered to be paid within two years.
Orders for compensation for consumers were made at Ipswich Crown Court resulting in Thomas Doran repaying 9 Suffolk consumers and 3 Essex consumers a total of £59,110.61.
We are also awaiting further progress of proceedings involving HM Revenue and Customs – a trial at the Old Bailey, London is to go forward later in 2016, for alleged tax evasion on the part of Thomas Doran and his wife Elizabeth Doran. This was as a direct result of the Trading Standards case.
Trading Standards is very pleased with the outcome of this case – it is rare to achieve compensation for victims in doorstep trading investigations and has been a real bonus for our consumers, many of whom spent their life-savings having work done on their homes.