Trader jailed for targeting elderly woman

A ROGUE trader has been sent to prison after targeting an elderly Clevedon woman.

Caleb Hughes called at the home of the 86-year-old in October and persuaded her to let him carry out work to remove moss from the paths at her property in return for �150.

However, the police were called, he was arrested and, earlier today (Friday), he was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court.

The 50-year-old was accused of using an aggressive practice when targeting the vulnerable woman.

He failed to give enough notice for her to cancel any agreement they reached and started the work before the end of the normal seven-day cancellation period which should normally apply to cold-callers.

In doing this, Hughes contravened two trading regulations.

An investigation was carried out by North Somerset Trading Standards and Hughes pleaded guilty to the first offence in front of magistrates on June 10. He pleaded guilty to the second offence at Bristol Crown Court on June 29.

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On Friday, Hughes, of Gipsy Lane, Frome, was handed a four-month prison sentence.

He will also have to serve an additional four months as these offences were committed while he was subject to a suspended prison sentence for a previous burglary.

North Somerset Council’s executive member responsible for trading standards, Peter Bryant, said: “The result of this case should send out a strong message that we will not tolerate those who cynically prey on our vulnerable residents.

“I totally agree with the judge’s comments that Hughes’ actions were disgraceful behaviour and I congratulate our officers in bringing this case to a successful conclusion.

“Our trading standards team is always willing to give advice on a wide range of issues including to those who may have suffered at the hands of cold callers or unscrupulous traders and we will take appropriate action to stamp out these illegal business practices.”