Rogue trader jailed after taking thousands of pounds from customers

A property in Suffolk where work was not completed by Wesley Theobald.

A property in Suffolk where work was not completed by Wesley Theobald. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

A "despicable" rogue roofer who took thousands of pounds for work he did not complete has been jailed for three years.

Wesley Theobald, 30, previously of Swaffham, pleaded guilty to his crimes last October in a successful prosecution brought by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards.

He received his prison sentence at King's Lynn Crown Court on Thursday, February 25.

The trading standards' investigation found Theobald had a clear pattern of fraudulent trading dating back from December 2017 until September 2020.

A property in Suffolk where work was not completed by Wesley Theobald.

A property in Suffolk where work was not completed by Wesley Theobald. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

During that time he was contracted by a total of nine customers across East Anglia to carry out roof repairs.

It concluded that despite being paid over £27,000 in deposits for the work, in the cases where work was started, the jobs were never completed.

And as a result, five of the consumers had to pay out a total of £20,000 in extra costs for remedial work.

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The roofer has only provided refunds in two cases totalling just over £600.

Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for communities and partnerships, welcomed the sentence and said: “The defendant had no choice but to plead guilty due to the strong clear case put together by our dedicated trading standards team. This rogue builder’s fraudulent activities over a period of time fell far short of what is expected of a professional trader and cost his victims thousands of pounds through his incomplete and substandard work.”

As part of his summing up the Judge, Mr Recorder Sells QC, praised the work of the council's trading standards team and said: "These investigations are incredibly difficult and complex and I would like to commend the investigating officer in this case."

He added that Theobald's actions, "had a serious effect on the victims, some elderly and retired, some younger" and added that his conduct can only be described as "despicable".

Confiscation proceedings, under proceeds of crime legislation, will follow and will include consideration of compensation for victims, as well as for the costs of the investigation.

Find good reputable local traders on the county council’s Trusted Trader website: www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader

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