A Haverfordwest man has been sentenced to a 12 month Community Order after pleading guilty to fraud offences following a case brought by Ceredigion County Council’s Trading Standards (Public Protection).
The court heard how between February 2020 and July 2020, Benjamin Michael Davies, trading as BMD Agricultural Shed Services had dishonestly told a retired couple in rural Ceredigion that he would build a barn extension for them and had instilled a sense of trust in his victims by assuring them that he was experienced in barn construction, that he would employ a structural engineer, and that he could purchase materials at a special price for them. In doing so, he defrauded the couple of £7,800.
Davies repeatedly promised to begin work on various dates and then failed to start work on those dates as they came and went. He abused the trust of the victims and used a myriad of excuses for not doing the work, including claiming that his father had passed away.
Davies’ solicitor stated that his client was remorseful, that he fully intended to pay the money back, and that he had intended to carry out the work but personal and financial problems had overtaken him. He asked for his client to be spared imprisonment as he had joint care of his son.
On 15 December 2021, Davies was sentenced at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court to a 12 month Community Order with a requirement to do 300 hours unpaid work and attend 25 days rehabilitation, £95 victim surcharge, plus ordered to pay Ceredigion County Council’s investigation and legal costs totalling £1,917.08 and £250 to the victims towards the emotional distress they had suffered; Davies had already been ordered by a County Court to repay the victims following a civil case.
Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Finance and Public Protection said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has no doubt placed a certain degree of pressure on the home improvement industry, creating the ideal environment for rogue traders to take advantage of consumers. Rogue traders are a menace to consumers and reputable builders alike and consumers need to be ever more careful when choosing a tradesperson. Ceredigion’s Trading Standards Officers do their utmost to protect residents from unscrupulous traders and I fully support their endeavours. Thanks to the diligent work of the Trading Standards Team and our Legal Services, Mr Davies has now been made to pay for his crime”.
Last month, Pembrokeshire County Council Trading Standards also prosecuted Davies for similar unfair trading practices. In that case, Davies was fined and ordered to pay compensation following a complaint from a Pembrokeshire consumer.