Rogue trader ‘electrician’ is sentenced

A Chester man who falsely advertised himself as being an industry-standard qualified electrician has been given a suspended custodial sentence, a curfew, unpaid work and a fine.

Jakes Hughes, 33, who now lives in York, was prosecuted by Cheshire West and Chester Council for a total of seven offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Mr Hughes was given an eight-week suspended custodial sentence for three charges, a 15-week suspended custodial sentence for four further charges, both to run concurrently with each other, plus 180 hours unpaid work and a three-month curfew between 8pm and 6am monitored by an electronic monitoring device.  He was also ordered to pay victim compensation of £4,500.

Mr Hughes advertised himself as being an industry-standard National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) qualified electrician undertaking major domestic electrical wiring work.

He was not an NICEIC qualified electrician and never has been.  In some instances, the work undertaken by the defendant was so poor, and so far removed from industry standards, it needed to be completely removed and started again from scratch.

Trading Standards Officers from the Council asked a qualified electrician to inspect and report on the work done by the defendant following complaints from residents.

As well as sub-standard electrical work he also attempted building work, which fell so short of compliance with any structural design that it had to be removed.  In another offence, he aggressively demanded payment from a client by multiple texts and emails, knowing they had been admitted to hospital.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said, “Our Trading Standards Officers work hard to protect residents in Cheshire West and Chester from this type of fraudulent and dangerous business activity.

“Rogue traders like this face custodial sentences and hefty fines or compensation orders.  Please report anyone you think may be a ‘cowboy’ builder or electrician, so they can be swiftly brought to justice before someone gets hurt due to their substandard work.”

Report rogue traders on the Citizens Advice Consumer Service consumer helpline: 0808 223 1133 or online at: Contact the consumer helpline – Citizens Advice

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