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Jail threat for East Lancs 'rogue trader'
A ROOFER exposed for questionable practices by a TV rogue traders programme has been warned he could face jail – four years on.
Simon Fielding’s tactics included stripping the dormer roof off a home in Great Harwood without asking in a bid to pressure householder Victoria North into having work carried out on her property in June 2011, Burnley Crown Court was told.
Fielding, who featured on the BBC’s Rogue Traders show in 2010, also went on the roof of Richard Hutchinson’s Clitheroe home and threatened to remove slates unless he was paid for work carried out, the court heard.
In a prosecution brought by Lancashire Trading Standards, it also emerged he had wrongly told Susan Bowie, between October 2011 and February 2012, that he had employed a structural engineer who had recommended work totalling £30,000 was needed on her Baxenden home.
Fielding also confessed to defrauding Alexander Gibb, by telling him work totalling around £1,500 was needed at his Barnoldswick property, when the bill should have been around £600.
The roofer, 54, formerly of Sunderland Street, Burnley, but now of Whalley Banks, Whalley, had been due to stand trial.
But he pleaded guilty to three offences of engaging as a trader in unfair commercial practices and one charge of fraud.
Another four offences had already been admitted prior to the hearing, three involving failures to give proper notice of cancellation rights.
The fourth charge related to an advert in Yellow Pages where he falsely claimed to belong to the Confederation of Roofing Contractors.
Defence counsel Mark Stuart said it would be argued that, in at least three of the cases, the work was necessary and had been carried out properly, and at a fair price.
The court heard that at the time of the offences, his daughter had been seriously ill in hospital, and later his wife had been undergoing cancer treatment.
He added: “Mr Fielding has been in business for 26 years and has a number of satisfied customers.”
Mr Stuart had asked the court for an indication of the maximum possible penalty, before his client’s final guilty pleas were entered.
Judge Andrew Woolman said he was not prepared to indicate a proposed term. Bailing Fielding, the judge added: “All sentencing options, including custody, will be open.”