A pair of rogue traders were ordered to pay victims of their paving scam a total of £45,669 at Bristol Crown Court last week (31 August).
In September 2017, brothers-in-law William and Thomas Connors were jailed for two and a half years each for fraudulent trading in connection with their business, Homepride Paving Ltd.
They were subsequently investigated under the Proceeds of Crime Act in respect of the benefit they gained from their criminal activities.
William Connors, 37, of Bourne Lake Park, Cricklade and Thomas Connors, 27, of Brython Drive, Cardiff then returned to Court last Friday where the Judge ordered that they have a total of £45,669 confiscated. It was stipulated that compensation is paid to 17 of their victims from the money. The pair were given three months to pay with a condition that they would serve a further nine months imprisonment if the money is not received.
The case was taken by South Gloucestershire Council’s Trading Standards team who investigated the rogue trading of Homepride Paving Ltd in the Yate area between November 2015 and May 2016.
Their tactics included dishonestly failing to provide their customers written notice of their 14 day cooling off rights, starting work immediately after it had been agreed and in some cases, before agreements were made altogether. Other tactics included overcharging for additional items that were claimed to be necessary and increasing prices once customers’ existing driveways had been dug up.
The assets they gained from their criminal activity were investigated by a Financial Investigator from Carmarthenshire Council who works in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council.
William Connors was instructed to pay the full order due to his identifiable assets and Thomas Connors was made the subject of a nominal order of £1 due to his financial position.
Part of the order will be covered by the sale of a four wheel drive truck that the pair were using at the time of their arrest which was confiscated by Trading Standards. The vehicle was also found to contain £6,280 in cash which was seized and will be used to satisfy the order.
Cllr Paul Hughes, South Gloucestershire Council member for Communities and Tourism, said: “This sort of criminal activity will not be tolerated and not only will we prosecute offenders, but we will be relentless in our pursuit of them under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“The order made by the Court will mean that 17 victims from this case will now be compensated for half of the money they paid to Homepride Paving.”