A TRADESMAN who misled customers and failed to return deposits when jobs went wrong has been banned from being a company director for five years

Preston Crown Court heard how victim Addur Rokib had asked Umran Suleman, 36, to price a job after seeing him working on the street where he lives in Rawtenstall.

A price was agreed and Suleman, 37, of Regents View, Blackburn, later went to collect £1,650 deposit.

An invoice was given for the job which contained the Gas Safe and National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) logos and a business address in Leyland.

Subsequent inquiries showed that neither of the regulatory authorities had ever heard of Suleman or his company. When Mr Rokib went to get his money back the court heard the company, which legitimately rents the unit at the address in Leyland, had also never heard of the defendant.

The second victim, Julie O’Brien, handed over cash for electrical and plumbing work which turned out to be defective. She tried to get her money back and was promised a refund by Suleman but he never came up with any money. She also went to the address in Leyland only to find it was occupied by a totally unrelated company.

Prosecutor Jack Troup said the electrics at Miss O’Brien’s home blew after the contractors left and a leaking radiator caused her kitchen floor to lift and the hot water ran cold after a couple of minutes.

Trading Standards investigators tracked Suleman, who is a father-of-five, to his Blackburn address where they found a van on the drive advertising Right Choice Contractors, which also bore the Gas Safe and NICEIC logos, as well as the Lancashire County Council Trader Standards scheme logo, the court heard.

In her victim impact statement Miss O’Brien said she was a single parent of three children, who relied on her wage to provide for her family.

She said she had to arrange an overdraft and use her credit cards to pay for the work to rectify the electrical and plumbing faults.

Miss O’Brien said: “I have had many sleepless nights crying about the financial position I am now in.”

Mr Rokib said he was a married father-of-three who was in receipt of disability living allowance because of mental health problems.

He said he had saved for a long time and sold some of the family gold to pay Suleman.

“This incident has caused me a great deal of stress and I can’t afford to lose that money,” said Mr Rokib.

When interviewed by Trading Standards Suleman admitted he had used a dummy address for U&A Drylining Ltd due to past problems at a previous address for the business, and that he wasn’t aware of the requirements to provide cancellation rights to consumers.

He also said the logos were already on his van when he bought it and he didn’t know it was illegal to keep them on despite not being a member of those organisations.

Suleman pleaded guilty to 10 offences under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, while U&A Drylining Ltd admitted to seven.

Suleman was ordered to pay £2,665 compensation and £2,682 prosecution costs. He was also given a three-month curfew, told to do 120 hours unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

U&A Drylining Ltd was fined £600.

Both U&A Drylining Ltd and Suleman are due to appear at Burnley Magistrates Court on November 24.