Brothers-in-law jailed for fraudulent trading

October 30 2017

A PAIR of rogue traders were each sent to prison for two-and-a-half years after admitting defrauding customers of their block paving business when it was operating in Yate.

A PAIR of rogue traders were each sent to prison for two-and-a-half years after admitting  defrauding customers of their block paving business when it was operating in Yate.

Brothers-in-law William Connors, 36, of Swindon and Thomas Connors, 26, of Cardiff, had appeared at Bristol Crown Court for sentencing. 

They were convicted of a single charge of fraudulent trading under the Companies Act 2006 in connection with their business Homepride Paving Ltd when it was operating in Yate and parts of Swindon between November 2015 and May 2016. 

In court, the judge said they ran “a dishonest enterprise” that was designed to pressurise customers and reap high rewards.

The men were also made subject to a Criminal Behaviour Order, which prevents them from cold calling anywhere in the UK for a period of five years.

In addition, a timetable was set under the Proceeds of Crime Act to deal with the profits the pair derived from their enterprise, along with issues of prosecution costs and victim compensation. 

The case was taken to court by South Gloucestershire Council’s trading standards team, which became suspicious of the activities of Homepride Paving in April 2016 when officers noticed an advertisement for the business on a newly block paved driveway in Yate. 

Investigations identified a total of 19 victims of rogue trading tactics that were routinely being employed by both men when residents engaged Homepride to do paving work at their homes.

Trading Standards were so concerned about the tactics that they liaised with police and the two men were arrested in Cranleigh Court Road, Yate, in April 2016.

A Homepride Paving work vehicle was also seized, which was found to contain more than £6,000 in cash, as well as mobile phones and an iPad. 

In court it was disclosed that one of the victims, Charles Watson of Yate, was approached by William Connors in January 2016 and agreed to have the front and side driveway of his house paved for £4,000. 

However, when digging up the existing driveway, Connors claimed there was a problem underneath which required a special type of porous concrete to be laid.

He claimed the price of the job would need to triple to £12,000 but eventually took £7,200 in cash when he realised his customer could not meet his demands. 

The two men were originally due to stand trial for fraudulent business activities but at the last moment both pleaded guilty to all of the charges.