Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Prosecutions
Residents urged to guard against scams as cash recouped from rogue plumber
Victims of jailed rogue plumber Gary Henry will receive more than £16,000 of his ill-gotten gains.
An Exeter Crown Court judge ordered Henry, 56, who has served seven months of a two-year prison for fraud, to pay £90,000 with £16,263 to his victims under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service (DSTTSS) investigated Henry after complaints that his work was shoddy and vastly overpriced.
If you are concerned that you might be the victim of a rogue trader, know someone who might be or want some advice on how to recognise a scam call the Citizen’s Advice helpline on 03454 040506.
You can also visit our Scams, Rogue Traders and Doorstep Crime pages.
If you are considering having work done on your property you can search for a list of tradespeople vetted by Trading Standards on the Buy With Confidence website.
Businesses who become members of the scheme commit to operate their company in a legal, honest and fair way.
On one occasion Henry, who traded as Barnstaple Plumbing and Heating and Gary Henry Ltd, charged an elderly couple, both recovering from illnesses, £3,860 for a boiler he bought for £1,699 and £870 for a flue pipe costing £87. The couple were also charged for work that was not done.
Henry, from Instow, North Devon, also overcharged another customer for a faulty oil-fired system which could have put the victim’s life in danger.
Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Services’ Interventions Manager Steve Gardiner said:
“The use of Proceeds of Crime legislation will enable recompense to be paid to those victims we have identified, and also means that money Mr Henry has made from his crimes can be confiscated by the treasury.
“These cases are thankfully fairly rare, but to avoid dishonest plumbers, people could use the Buy with Confidence scheme to find a trader so that they know the traders will be Trading Standards Approved.”
Anyone with concerns, or who would like advice about their rights, should telephone the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 or visit their website.
If you can answer yes to any of these questions then there is a good chance that someone is trying to scam you:
- Was the offer unsolicited?
- Do I have to respond straight away?
- Do I have to make a purchase to win a prize?
- Do I have to ring a premium-rate number?
- Do I have to give my bank or credit card details?
- Is the business reluctant to give their address or contact details?
- Am I being asked to keep it confidential?
- Does it look too good to be true?