Rogue trader’s fine and suspended prison sentence

Cllr Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Cou ncil
Cllr Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Cou ncil

A cold caller from Eastbourne who preyed on an elderly woman has been handed a suspended jail term and a hefty fine.

Richard Chapman, of Horsa Close, , was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Thursday (October 24), following an investigation by East Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards team.

During a cold call on an elderly Seaford resident, Chapman, 48, persuaded her to go to the bank to withdraw a large amount of cash.

Chapman and an accomplice, who was jailed for five months at a previous hearing in July, carried out work on the lady’s garage roof after identifying alleged faults.

The defendant’s manner caused anxiety and distress to the resident and it was reported to the Trading Standards Service.

Chapman, who pleaded guilty to the charge of using aggressive practices, was given a three-month jail term, suspended for two years, with a 120-hour unpaid work requirement.

Additionally, he was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and full compensation to the victim.

Cllr Rupert Simmons, county council lead member for economy, said, “This is another excellent result for the Trading Standards service.

“It sends out a clear message that neither the council nor the courts will tolerate businesses that flout the law and cause distress to our residents.”

The council offers an approved trader scheme – Buy With Confidence – which allows residents to ensure they are employing the services of a responsible tradesman.

Anyone who has concerns about a cold calling business is asked to report the matter immediately to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.