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Knowle plumber loses battle against court conviction

A PLUMBER who was found guilty of misleading a pensioner by carrying out work that he knew wouldn’t solve her problem has lost an appeal against his conviction.

A PLUMBER who was found guilty of misleading a pensioner by carrying out work that he knew wouldn’t solve her problem has lost an appeal against his conviction.

Timothy Barnes, of Barton Drive, Knowle, charged the elderly lady £365 for work which included rodding the drains of her Warwickshire home and digging a hole in her back garden.

However, the 49-year-old had discovered that the plumbing problems, dating from November 2010, were in actual fact the fault of a blockage in the main sewer pipe.

When council contractors came to unblock the sewer in Leamington Spa, they were concerned about the work that the pensioner had paid for and encouraged her to contact trading standards - who launched an investigation into Barnes’ firm (T Barnes Plumbing and Heating).

In April, Solihull Magistrates convicted the tradesman of two consumer protection offences, but he appealed against their decision.

But the judge at Warwick Crown Court has now upheld the original verdict - Barnes must pay over £6000 in prosecution costs, a £600 fine and £180 compensation to his victim.

Coun Richard Hobbs, portfolio holder for community protection at Warwickshire County Council, which runs the trading standards team, said: “It is completely unacceptable for traders to mislead consumers in this way – some of whom are very elderly and vulnerable.”

 

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