‘Rogue trader ripped me off’

Carole Proctor, ripped off by rogue trader in Cleveleys
Carole Proctor, ripped off by rogue trader in Cleveleys

A homeowner who retired to Cleveleys has spoken of her ordeal after a rogue trader left her bungalow with faults.

Victim Carole Proctor says she felt she could trust Lesley Thompson, who trades under the name of Cleveleys Home Improvements, because she was a woman.

But a court heard Thompson preyed on her trust, carrying our ineffective guttering work, failing to give her her rights, and lying that she would guarantee her damp proofing work for 25 years.

She fobbed off Mrs Proctor each time she asked for her 25 year guarantee certificate she had been promised, and a manufacturer later revealed Thompson had never paid for a guarantee certificate.

Thompson, 50, of Meadowcroft Avenue, Cleveleys, was convicted after admitting ripping her off.

Civil servant Carole, 61, told The Gazette she had paid £2,200 for the shoddy work, which will now have to be redone.

She said: “It was a weird situation.

“ They did the work after I found a leaflet.

“I thought a lady, that makes a change, and hoped I wouldn’t be ripped off by a woman.

“But I wasn’t happy with the work and couldn’t get her to come back so I contacted Citizen’s Advice who put me onto Trading Standards.

“It’s taken over a year and has been stressful.

“I’m happy with the outcome – as long as she pays.

“I’d still deter anyone from using her.“

Carole and her partner had moved from Dukinfield in Manchester to the bungalow, in a bid to live out their retirement dream, six months previously, but found there was damp in various areas.

At the time the work was done, Carole, who has two children and a granddaughter, was suffering pneumonia.

When she raised her dissatisfaction with Thompson the trader failed to come back and address the issues.

Carole added: “Sadly I will never use anyone’s services from a leaflet again.

“I’ll rely on word of mouth.”

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court fined Thompson £1,000,and ordered her to pay £2,840 compensation and £500 costs.

Claire Box, prosecuting for Lancashire Trading Standards, said the victim was repeatedly not told of her cancellation rights.

She adedd: “It is worth noting at this point that Mrs Thompson has been advised by both Lancashire Trading Standards officers and officers from Blackpool Trading Standards on at least three times in the past couple of years regarding the requirement to provide these cancellation rights to consumers.”

Thompson admitted five charges of engaging in unfair trading practice and had four other similar offences taken into consideration relating to damp proofing work at properties owned by another woman in Fleetwood.