Wirral Trading Standards obtain their first ASBO against a rogue trader
Gwyn Hamilton has become the first trader on Wirral to be issued with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order on conviction after being branded as a “an utterly dishonest liar and a rogue who would not take no for an answer” by District Judge Abelson at Wirral Magistrates’ Court.
On Monday 21 January 2013 at Wirral Magistrates’ Court, Hamilton, of New Start Park, Nantwich was found guilty of offences of fraud and aggressive trade practices. On Monday 28 January 2013, Hamilton was made subject of the Order and was also sentenced to five months imprisonment, disqualified from driving for 18 months and was ordered to pay costs of £2,300 and £95 compensation for the re-bedding of roof tiles after the incident. The Judge also made a Deprivation Order in relation to the van he used whilst committing the offences.
In July 2012, Hamilton cold called to a couple in their 80s and told them that they needed work doing to roofing tiles on their home in Bromborough, Wirral. The couple did not want the work doing and did not believe that the work in fact needed doing but Hamilton bullied and intimidated the couple into eventually agreeing to the work being done. An initial price of £37 was quoted but this later escalated to £400 after Hamilton’s colleague went up on the roof to start work. Thankfully, the couple did not pay the money as they stood their ground and refused to pay. Hamilton also failed to provide the couple with a notice detailing their right to a seven day cancellation period. The District Judge paid tribute to the female consumer who, aged 80 years of age, gave evidence in the trial of Hamilton calling her an “absolutely totally compelling witness”, “outstanding, complete and who told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.
The Judge stated that he had a duty to protect other elderly and vulnerable residents on Wirral from traders like Hamilton and that he wanted to send out a clear and unequivocal message to other rogue traders like Hamilton.
The terms of the ASBO prohibit Hamilton anywhere within England or Wales from cold calling at any residential premises without prior permission of the occupier, touching the fabric and grounds of any building or dwelling belonging to anyone not of the same household as Hamilton without the permission of the occupier, or persuading, encouraging, coercing or otherwise harassing occupiers of premises to access additional monies from any source in order to meet demands for payments that were not originally agreed and not to incite or encourage others to commit any act prohibited by the Order. The Order lasts indefinitely. Should Hamilton breach the Order, he faces up to five years in prison.