Hampshire County Council has welcomed the successful prosecution of a rogue roofing trader who has been sentenced for roofing fraud to the value of £642,850.320 involving 29 properties across Hampshire,  West Sussex and the Isle of Wight.

Following a detailed investigation by the County Council’s Trading Standards officers. Lawrence Martin, aged 36, of Burnham Chase in Southampton, was sentenced for five years in jail Wednesday 21, 2024 at Southampton Crown Court. In connection to three counts of fraudulent activity. The Judge also imposed a Criminal Behaviour Order for ten years prohibiting the defendant from undertaking various activities. Mr Martin, trading as CLJ Roofing Limited, as well operating as a sole trader. Had pleaded guilty on 20 October 2023 to the crime of fraud by false representation. Participating in a fraudulent business, and carrying on the business of a limited company for a fraudulent purpose. The charges related to the provision of roofing and other general building maintenance works carried out at the properties. During the work, Mr Martin made false claims to the homeowners about the necessity of the work being undertaken. The value of the work, and that payments made had been used to purchase materials when they had not.

The County Council’s Cabinet Lead for Regulatory Services, Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, said: “This is another successful prosecution by the County Council’s Trading Standards team which has led to a jail sentence for an unscrupulous rogue trader. In this case, Mr Martin’s fraudulent con would often start as simple low-cost home or roof repairs, but he would then claim more extensive repairs were required, increasing the price substantially. This work was then carried out to a poor standard, or not done at all. On numerous occasions unsatisfied customers were offered refunds which failed to appear. I hope this result acts as a deterrent to any would-be fraudsters.

“Our advice to Hampshire residents is to find traders through our Buy with Confidence website which features businesses that have been vetted and approved. Anyone who suspects a trader is operating illegally should report it to the Citizens Advice consumer service helpline on 0808 223 1133. Dishonest people offering services can be incredibly convincing and plausible, but it’s important to bear in mind that a genuine tradesperson will not mind anyone asking questions and taking extra time to make additional checks.”

More information about Hampshire County Council Trading Standards can be found online.

Learn more about Buy with Confidence: www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/