A rogue trader who defrauded a vulnerable West Berkshire resident has been sentenced.
At Reading Crown Court on the 31 March 2017, Noah Kempster (47) of Kybes Lane, Grazely, Wokingham, Berkshire was sentenced to 100 hours of community work having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of fraud by false representation contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.
Kempster appeared before the Crown Court as a result of an investigation carried out by Trading Standards supported by colleagues from Thames Valley Police. The investigation centred on work purported to have been carried out at the home of an elderly West Berkshire resident. The investigation revealed that in July 2015 Kempster cold-called the resident offering to do work around the garden. For this work he charged £800. He returned in September 2015 and purported to carry out a further £1500 of work.
The subsequent investigation revealed a significant amount of the work that Kempster had claimed to have carried out had in fact been carried out by another person previously. In entering guilty pleas Kempster conceded that this amounted to £500 with respect the work in July 2015 and £750 with respect to the September 2015 visit.
In passing sentence HHJ Dugdale acknowledged the fact that the consumer was a vulnerable person in her 80’s and that Kempster knew he had overcharged her and knew her vulnerability.
In addition to the 100 hour Community Order Mr Kempster offered to pay the entire sum of £2,300 in compensation and an order to pay within 14 days was made. In addition to this, he was ordered to pay a victims surcharge.
Councillor Marcus Franks, Executive Member for Public Protection and Member of the Public Protection Joint Committee said: “This was a cynical crime perpetrated on a vulnerable consumer. The investigation revealed a person who having defrauded the victim once, returned to do it again. We would urge people who have concerns that they, their friends, neighbours or relatives may be the victim of doorstep crime to contact Trading Standards on 01635 519930 or the Police immediately. We will continue to work with our partners from the Police to ensure these types of crimes are investigated wherever possible.”