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Trading Standards catch Crosby rogue businessman

Sefton Council has welcomed the successful prosecution of a rogue trader from Crosby.

Daniel Howarth of Crosby Property Maintenance plead guilty to four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations act and one offence under the Consumer Rights Act at South Sefton Magistrates Court.

Offences including the unauthorised use of a ‘Gas Safe’ logo on his website and forging building certificates supposedly from Sefton Council saying his work at a property complied with regulations.

Howarth tried to pass Crosby Property Maintenance off as being ‘Gas Safe’ (previously Corgi) registered as well as approved by the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC).

When challenged about works he carried out at two different properties, he produced fake building certificates, claiming to be from the Local Authority, confirming that building work had been assessed by qualified building control officers and deemed to be safe.

In reality the works were unsafe and homeowners were faced with a bill for further remedial works in order to comply with Building Regulations.

During an investigation into complaints against Crosby Property Maintenance, Howarth gave false information to Sefton’s Trading Standards officers.

He was fined £1505 and ordered to pay costs of £1031.50, totalling £2536.50.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “This case goes to show the absolute importance of double checking who is working on your property.

“A full list of Gas Safe and NICIEIC approved contractors are available via their respective websites.

“Victims of this rogue trader are still counting the costs of his forgery and we are pleased that our Trading Standards team have managed to bring him to justice.

“We urge residents to remain vigilant and if they suspect a rogue trader is operating in the area to get in touch and we can investigate. Residents should always be on their guard against bogus workers and we need the public’s help to catch rogue traders.”

To search for an approved trader in your area you can also visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk.