A bankrupt plumber has been jailed after misleading Derbyshire customers and leaving them thousands of pounds out of pocket. Adam Wilson of Sunninghill Drive, Clifton, ran Yourplumbstop in Long Eaton and had previously admitted 12 charges of breaching the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at a hearing in December 2021.
11 of the charges relate to the 41-year-old failing to tell customers that he was bankrupt which he had a duty to disclose as it could affect a consumer’s transactional decision. One charge was for making false statements about representing a company named Wolf Design and Build Ltd when negotiating a contract to refurbish a bathroom.
Wilson’s victims were from all over Derbyshire including Spondon, Long Eaton, Alfreton and Ilkeston. At Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday November 9 Judge Rafferty sentenced Wilson to two-and-a-half years imprisonment relating to the trading standards charges and a further two-and-a-half years imprisonment for a separate drugs-related offence.
Judge Rafferty said that Wilson had “fleeced people of their hard-earned money, giving them nothing”. Wilson’s barrister told the court that Wilson had set up Yourplumbstop as a legitimate business and subsequently used the premises to grow cannabis.
One of the customers left out of pocket was a disabled woman who needed a walk-in bath and paid Wilson £6,000 in July 2019 to do the work. The only work carried out by Wilson was to take out the old bathroom and plaster the walls, leaving the woman without a functioning bathroom for more than seven months as she could not afford to pay another business to complete the work.
As Wilson was bankrupt, he was, and still is, prohibited from taking any payments over £500 from customers without informing them of his status. This is because customers need to be able to make an informed choice about the financial risks they are taking.
Derbyshire County Council trading standards became aware of problems with Yourplumbstop when they were contacted by 11 different customers who either had partial work done, or no work at all, by Wilson, despite paying him large amounts of money to replace their bathrooms. None of the 11 customers had any knowledge that Wilson was bankrupt.
As a result of the breaches of contract, in total, the customers are owed £27,000 by Wilson which they cannot recover through civil recovery due to his bankruptcy. A Proceeds of Crime hearing will take place in the future.
Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for health and communities Councillor Carol Hart said: “We welcome this prison sentence by the court as it sends out a very clear message to people that our trading standards officers will investigate complaints and traders will not get away with failing or misleading consumers, providing a substandard service or leaving people out of pocket.
“The fact that in this case, people who have handed over thousands of pounds in good faith have no redress makes this even more despicable, but I hope they take some comfort in the fact this man has been punished by the courts.
“The success of the prosecution was down to the diligent investigation of our trading standards officers who ensured this dishonest businessman was brought to justice.”
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