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02 October 2019

Cumbrian rogue trader sentenced to 18 months in prison

Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards service has secured another prosecution against a rogue trader operating in the South Lakes.

Ralph Brook, 46, of Swindale Cottage, Brough, Kirkby Stephen pleaded guilty to Fraud Act and Consumer Protection legislation offences including aggressive practices, when he appeared at Carlisle Crown Court on Monday 30 September. Brook was given an 18 month prison sentence suspended for 2 years.  He was also ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work and given a four month curfew.

Brooks approached his 79 year old victim and told him he had been working at one of his neighbours houses and told him his gutters needed repairing.

The victim recognised Brooks as having called at his property a couple of years earlier asking to do work. He said he would come round the following day and have a look at what was required. Brooks visited the elderly gentleman’s home and carried out work to the guttering.

Brooks then used scaremongering tactics and informed the pensioner that other work needed doing to his house. Additional work included cementing ridge tiles, pointing and work on the foundations of the house. The total cost of the work was over £7,500. When trading Standards got involved Brooks said there had been a mistake with the invoice, which should have been £1,500.

He pleaded guilty to several fraud, misleading omission and aggressive practice offences.

Cllr Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said:

“This case should act as a warning to others. The actions of rogue traders can have a significant financial and emotional impact on consumers, particularly the most vulnerable members of our communities. This result is testament to the hard work of the council’s trading standards officers and to our commitment to protecting the health, safety and economic wellbeing of residents, visitors and businesses in Cumbria.”


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Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards service has secured another prosecution against a rogue trader operating in the South Lakes.