News item

First Warwickshire rogue trader to receive ASBO

Paul David Henstone has become the first Warwickshire trader to be issued with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) after being branded by a Judge as a “Cowboy Builder”, Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service has announced.

Henstone, who was recently imprisoned for fraud, carried out shoddy building work at homes across the region and had previously undertaken to improve his business practices.

 However, he failed to do this and on Tuesday 28th August 2012 at Coventry County court, the presiding Judge, Mr Gregory made an anti-social behaviour order against him. Should he breach the order he faces up to two years in prison.

Warwickshire County Councillor Richard Hobbs, Portfolio Holder for Community Protection said: “I am delighted that we have been able to secure an ASBO against this trader.

“Warwickshire Trading Standards will use all the powers they have available to them to take action against those traders who provide poor or in many cases non-existent work.”

“We will continue to protect both Warwickshire consumers and genuine traders from the activities of rogues.”

The order prevents Mr Henstone from:

• Working in the building industry other than as an employee of a company which has been incorporated for at least 5 years

• Being involved in estimating, quoting, negotiating contracts or collecting payments from customers in connection with any building, home improvement or landscaping service (other than in connection with a contract solely for the sale of goods)

• Using any name other than the one shown on his birth certificate for business purposes

• Taking consumers to any bank or other financial institution to withdraw money

• Acting in such a manner as to cause, or be likely to cause, alarm, harassment or distress to any person in the course of his trade, business or profession.

Judge Gregory stated that he was entirely satisfied that an ASBO was necessary to protect Warwickshire consumers in light of Mr Henstone’s history.

In 2007 Mr Henstone was prosecuted by Solihull Trading Standards in relation to shoddy building work carried out at a consumer’s home, and subsequently gave Warwickshire Trading Standards a formal undertaking that he would improve his business practices.

Following further consumer complaints, in 2009 Warwickshire Trading Standards sought a Court Order against Mr Henstone, requiring him to change his ways.

Consumer complaints nevertheless continued to be received.

In 2011 Mr Henstone was prosecuted by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) for 3 fraud offences and also being involved in the management of a company whist being an undischarged bankrupt. He was sentenced to 16mths imprisonment, of which he served 4mths before being released on licence.

Mr Henstone was warned that he could be sent to prison for up to 2 years if he breaches the Anti-Social Behaviour Order.

Mr Henstone was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £5,000.

Notes to Editors

The terms of the ASBO seek to encourage Mr Henstone to work to support himself and his family, whilst preventing him from engaging in the types of work that have caused problems for consumers in the past.

He can, for example, get a job in the building industry as an employee of a bona-fide company; but he cannot be involved in negotiating contracts, agreeing prices or collecting payments from customers.

Mr Henstone remains bound by the 2009 Court Order, which forbids him from:

- Failing to carry out work with reasonable care & skill
- Failing to carry out work within a reasonable time
- Failing to supply goods or carry out work as described in the quotation or making additional charges beyond those quoted
- Making misrepresentations to consumers that referees are customers when they are related or have a close relationship with Mr Henstone
- Failing to complete work
- Failing to remove waste from consumers’ properties
- Failing to pay suppliers, contractors etc resulting in consumers having to pay themselves
- Failing to hand over consumers’ electrical safety certificates and other documentation
- Damaging consumers’ properties
- Constructing building works in such a way that there is a danger of collapse once they are finished

For more information please contact Simon Cripwell, Senior Information Officer, Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service on 01926 414039 or 07771 975570.