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Trading Standards

Plumbers ordered to pay back thousands to their victims

Two plumbers who were jailed for fraud have been ordered to pay back a total of £77,000 to their victims.

Peter Hawketts, aged 57, of Vardon Way, Kings Norton, Birmingham; and Patrick Thawe, aged 47, of Little Park, Quinton, Birmingham were originally jailed in August 2016 along with others after charging mostly elderly residents hundreds of pounds for simple plumbing jobs.

In one instance £10,200 was charged for a replacement boiler and small radiator when the true cost was £2.200.

Following the sentence, Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards set about recovering the money and obtaining further compensation for their victims through Proceeds of Crime actions.

At a final court hearing last week, cash amounts of £55,000 and £22,000 were ordered to be paid by Thawe and Hawketts. The pair now have three months to pay the amounts or face another year in prison.

County Councillor Gill Heath, cabinet member responsible for Trading Standards said they will always seek to recover compensation for victims of crime.

Gill said:

“Rogue traders often prey on vulnerable victims, often leaving them significantly out of pocket.  Our Trading Standards teams do all that they can to bring these people to justice, but also try and recover money that can be given to those who have been affected by their crimes.

“It is always worth remembering that when you are looking to have work done, to go with a reputable company, ideally someone who has been recommended by friends or family. Alternatively use a trader who is a member of the government’s TrustMark scheme or our own Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Trader Register Scheme.”