Trading Standards team protect Kingston from rogue roofer
Rogue trader James "Jimmy" Slater, receives prison sentence after being found guilty of contempt of court
James "Jimmy" Slater, a Surbiton resident has been sentenced to 9 months in prison after being found guilty of contempt of court at the Central London County Court after breaching an enforcement order banning him from rogue trading under the Enterprise Act 2002.
As part of this order he has to pay back his victims £35,520, plus the costs incurred by the Council amounting to £7,327, after defrauding customers for carrying out substandard and unnecessary building works to their home. He failed to do so, and continued with his rogue trading.
Mr Slater has a history of similar offending and has operated under a number of names offering roofing and guttering services including Response Roofing, Fascia Protection, All Round Plastics, Global Plastics, Property Maintenance, Home Tech Specialists and Traditional Plastics, Clean and Clear Guttering Service, J & L Properties, Slater Roofing and Just Guttering. He is well known to trading standards across the South East region, with over 100 complaints received by the Council since May 1988 alone.
In passing the sentence, His Honour Judge Lethem said this was a serious matter. Mr Slater had a history of previous convictions and contempt of court for similar matters. He described him as a sophisticated con-man, a fraudster, who has approached numerous people suggesting works or repair to refurbish their properties is required. On some occasions he took money and then commenced work, using this as a springboard to suggest more work was necessary. On others he took money but did not work at all. In all cases the work was unsatisfactory and never completed. His behaviour was a wilful and consistent breach of the Court Order imposed in 2019.
Judge Lethem then went on to praise two witnesses who attended court, saying without their courage in being prepared to come to court to give evidence, to stand up for vulnerable people who are preyed upon by people like Mr Slater, justice could not be progressed. He stressed their courage in attending particularly during the current pandemic.
Councillor Sweeney, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: "This result shows the determination of our trading standards team in tackling rogue traders who target the most vulnerable in our community. We will continue through the Courts to protect residents from such harm, no matter how complicated the proceedings may be at the current time. We encourage residents to protect themselves by following the golden rule of never doing business on your doorstep. Never let yourself be pressured into handing over cash. Take a moment, seek advice and protect yourself and your home. If you have concerns about your roof or gutters, always consider speaking to your insurance provider first to see if they can help with any approved tradesperson."
To report a scam or rogue trader contact the council's Trading Standards via the Citizen Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 or by visiting https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/