Cold calling roofer receives suspended prison sentence

At Bodmin Magistrates on 15 February 2018, Peter Foster, 55, of The Birches, Bury St Edmunds pleaded guilty to offences under the Crime and Disorder Act.

In July 2017, Foster cold called at the home of an elderly couple in St Columb Major offering to fit a dry verge system to one side of the property, claiming it would protect the roof tiles from high winds.

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After completing this work, Foster began working on the opposite side of the property without permission, attempting to charge a total of £1,100.

The householders, concerned about the situation, called their daughter, who in turn called the police.

At the time of the incident Foster had been bound by a Crown Court Order in another part of the country, banning him from cold calling at people’s homes.

Following an investigation by Cornwall’s Trading Standards Team, Foster pleaded guilty to a breach of this order at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He was also given an 8 week curfew and ordered to pay costs and compensation to the victim. Foster was also issued a Criminal Behaviour Order, preventing him from cold calling at properties for a further five years.

Leanne McLean, Cornwall Council’s Lead Officer Doorstep Crime said, “We welcome the sentence imposed by the Magistrates’, which clearly reflects the seriousness of the case.  Cornwall Trading Standards work tirelessly to ensure anyone who commits these offences is brought to justice.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection said, “Our advice to homeowners is to NEVER deal with anyone who turns up at your door without an appointment. If you do require work on your home, always get three quotes and consider using traders that are members of Cornwall Trading Standard’s Buy With Confidence scheme.”

Nigel Strick, Cornwall Council’s Fair Trading Team Manager said, “This is the first time Cornwall Trading Standards has applied for a Criminal Behaviour Order. It means that for the next five years, any attempt by Foster to make unsolicited calls or carry out work without consent could result in a maximum 5 year prison sentence.” 

Anyone who believes they have been victim in a similar situation should report the matter to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Service on 03454040506.


Story posted 20 February 2018