Plumbers ordered to pay back £77,000 to their victims

Two plumbers have been ordered to repay £77,000 to customers they had vastly overcharged for simple plumbing jobs.

Peter Hawketts, 57, of Kings Norton, Birmingham and Patrick Thawe, 47, of Quinton, Birmingham were originally jailed in August 2016, along with others, after swindling mostly elderly residents for carrying out work in their homes.

In one instance £10,200 was charged for a replacement boiler and small radiator when the true cost was £2200.

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:

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.”

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