Vulnerable people, particularly the elderly, often fall victim to rogue traders who offer their dubious goods and services door to door. However, the Court of Appeal has emphasised in one important case that the law must rise to the challenge of protecting them.
The case concerned a dishonest tradesman whose modus operandi was to carry out largely worthless and shoddily executed work on pensioners’ drives before massively overcharging them. He had attracted the attention of the Office of Fair Trading and a local authority for several years but had persisted in his dishonest ways.
He had not been deterred by a court order, which placed strict limits on his business activities, and was eventually sentenced to a four-month jail term for contempt of court. However, he was released after serving only eight days of that sentence after he told a judge that he was sorry and would not do it again.
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