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Council bosses have hit out at the “menace” of rogue traders – after welcoming a court decision to jail a cowboy builder from the borough for five years. 

Stourbridge man James Carter, formerly known as James Eccles, drove round in a van falsely claiming he had appeared on BBC’s DIY SOS.  In reality he was unqualified and pocketed more than £140,000 from 15 unsuspecting victims while carrying out shoddy work at their homes.

Stourbridge man James Carter, formerly known as James Eccles, drove round in a van falsely claiming he had appeared on BBC’s DIY SOS. In reality he was unqualified and pocketed more than £140,000 from 15 unsuspecting victims while carrying out shoddy work at their homes.

He was jailed at Stafford Crown Court earlier this week and also made the subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) which bans him from carrying out such work again without the necessary qualifications.

The court heard his victims also had to shell out a further £60,000 between them to bring others in to correct the work he had done.

Councillor Peter Miller, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:

“We are delighted with the decision of the court, which sends out a strong message that rogue trading will not be tolerated.

“The lengthy jail sentence is a suitable punishment for the misery this man has caused to a lot of people, and the imposition of a Criminal Behaviour Order will prevent him from ever carrying out such work again unless he is fully qualified to do so.

“Rogue traders are a menace to our community.

“People took this man at face value. They believed he was a reputable trader. He was anything but, and ended up costing his customers thousands and thousands of pounds, both to pay for his shoddy work and then to employ someone else after to fix it.

“Rogue traders don’t just leave a trail of destruction in their wake, they also erode public trust in legitimate builders who are excellent at what they do and fully qualified. The actions of these people can affect the ability of genuine tradesmen to earn a living.

“Dudley Trading Standards officers will continue to do all in their powers to protect residents. If you are aware of anyone who has been the victim of rogue traders please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0345 404 0506."   

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