A kitchen and bathroom fitter has appeared in court charged with more than 40 offences of defrauding homeowners across Leeds and West Yorkshire by taking around £13,000 in deposits and failing to do the promised work.
Robert Cooper, 60, is charged with various offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
An initial hearing at Wakefield Magistrates Court was presented with a nine-page charge sheet in relation to the allegations.
Cooper, of Crossland Road, Huddersfield, is accused by West Yorkshire Trading Standards of fraudulently taking various deposits - some up to and over £1,000 - by claiming that he could complete the work. It is alleged that the trader “materially distorted or was likely to distort the economic behaviour of the average consumer with regard to a product” by “failing to return monies paid by consumers when work was not undertaken”.
He is also accused of failing to deal with complaints, falsely claiming to have full accreditation, and failing to notify customers of their legal right to cancel contracts.
Among the list of charges against Cooper are six of unfair commercial practices, three of engaging in commercial practice which is a misleading action containing false information, nine charges of a commercial practice which is a misleading omission. He also faces one charge of participating in a fraudulent business carried on by a sole trader, 10 offences of fraud by false representation and three of knowingly/recklessly engaging in a commercial practice.
Cooper did not enter a plea and the matter was adjourned to April, when it will be referred to the Crown Court.