A COUPLE from Leeds who endured a “nightmare” experience at the hands of a rogue roofer who conned thousands of pounds from a string of unsuspecting customers were in court to see him jailed.
Leeds Crown Court heard incompetent tradesman Andrew Pollard, 37, carried out unnecessary and poor quality roofing work which left some homes flooded and in chaos.
He was the director of a company called A&J Roofing Solutions Ltd – the most complained about roofing company in West Yorkshire in 2016.
Pollard, of Longfield Road, Pudsey, was jailed for 20 months after admitting ten offences under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Peter Smith, 69, and partner Carol Timlin, 68, sought Pollard’s help to fix a leak in the roof of their home in Pudsey.
The couple paid Pollard £12,700 to put a new roof on their home, but it ended up leaking more water than before.
They had to pay another company £3,500 to re-roof the house for a second time
The couple said after the sentencing hearing: “We are very angry and very embarrassed that we fell for his patter.
“We feel sick at night worrying when it’s raining that the roof is going to leak, even though it’s now sound.
“We are really glad he has been sent to jail It was an absolute nightmare. It was a lot of stress and financial uncertainty.”
Prosecutor, Jane Cooper, said Pollard conned a 64-year-old Cookridge man who wanted the roof his garage waterproofing.
Pollard charged the man £500 to paint the roof of his garage with a tin of paint that cost £48.
Miss Cooper said Pollard showed a 75-year-old woman what he claimed was a photograph of water pooling on the flat roof of her house in Whinmoor.
He charged £2,300 for roof repairs and then quoted £1,500 to remedy a damp patch that appeared in her home as a result of the work he did.
Miss Cooper said the problems with the roof were so bad that the woman had to leave the house and stay with a relative.
Pollard quoted a 34-year-old woman a price of £3,150 to re-roof her home in Farnley, but he left the job half done and leaks led to a ceiling collapse.
The court was told it cost the woman £8,210 to have the job done properly by another roofing firm.
Pollard plans to continue operating the roofing firm that was the subject of a string of complaints, Leeds Crown Court heard.
A probation officer told the court: “He said he wants to continue to be director of this roofing firm but is now using a team of people that are trustworthy.” Mitigating, Lorraine Harris, said: “He admits he inflated costs and he also admits that work done did not meet the required standard.
“He said other people did the work and he was working on other jobs to earn money.”
A Leeds Crown Court judge told Andrew Pollard he would be facing a longer jail sentence if he had deliberately targeted elderly victims.
Jailing Pollard for 20 months, Recorder Simon Eckersley, said his failings during the period the offences were committed between November 2015 and September 2016 were “systemic.”
Recorder Eckersley, said: “These failures during this period were systemic. They had huge effect on your victims. Many attempts to alert you were largely ignored.
“These offences are so numerous and over such a length of time and have had such a palpable effect on your victims that a custodial sentence is inevitable.
“Had I thought that you were deliberately targeting the vulnerable then that sentence would have ben considerably longer than 20 months.”
Pollard’s conviction was secured by the West Yorkshire Financial Exploitation and Abuse Team
David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “We are extremely pleased that the courts have taken such a hard line on this case.
“This sentence sends a strong message to rogue traders that their unscrupulous tactics will not be tolerated.
“I would urge anyone wishing to report unfair sales tactics or seek advice on doorstep crime to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I welcome the sentencing in that it recognises the severe impact of Mr Pollard’s actions on his victims having been taken into account.”
Mr Burns-Wiliamson added: “It also sends a clear message that robust action will be taken against anyone who sees taking advantage of vulnerable people as an easy pay day.”