Rogue Worthing roofer fined

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A rogue roofer has paid the price after he conned an elderly resident out of thousands of pounds.

Peter Shallis, of Pines Avenue, Worthing, was trading as Sussex Roofing Restoration when he charged a 75 year-old in Lancing £8,560 to replace their roof, but a surveyor expert found his work to be ‘fundamentally flawed’.

In a hearing at Chichester Crown Court on Friday, December 18, he was sentenced to eight months custody, suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work and make a further £4,500 payment to the victim as well as the £5,000 he has already paid back.

Instead of using roof felt, Mr Shallis used white plastic sheeting – which is intended for weatherproofing scaffolding. When questioned by West Sussex Trading Standards Officers, he used a blow torch in the loft to burn it all out.

Mr Shallis also positioned the replacement roof felt above the battens, used mismatched tiles that did not interlock and replaced the hip ends in a way which meant they were completely off-line, curved and ill-formed.

A surveyor expert, instructed by Trading Standards, observed that the roof was in ‘an abysmal condition’ and that there was no other option but to replace it, before noting that the work had been carried out by someone who was ‘completely and utterly incompetent in roofing’.

Trading Standards prosecuted Mr Shallis for the poor work, together with making false claims as to being a member of the Federation of Small Businesses.

He also claimed to be an ‘Approved Contractor’ and that all his work was insured. Mr Shallis pleaded guilty to all charges.

David Barling, the council’s cabinet member for residents services with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “This was a despicable act of indecency and deceit. As we continue to combat fraud across West Sussex, criminals such as these will be brought to justice.”

Richard Sargeant, team manager for Trading Standards, added: “Elderly residents can be more vulnerable to rogue traders and it is our responsibility to protect them when such instances occur.

“It’s crucial we remain vigilant and ensure that these fraudulent individuals are suitably punished and the victims are compensated.

“Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of an unfair trading practice should contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport.”

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