Builder could be given Asbo

A BUILDER could be one of the first in the country to be given an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo) that would prevent him cold-calling for business for the next five years.

By David Lennard

A BUILDER could be one of the first in the country to be given an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo) that would prevent him cold-calling for business for the next five years.

David Howarth, 39, of Romany Way, Kessingland, near Lowestoft, appeared in court earlier this month and admitted four offences of charging for work that was not carried out and submitting bills knowing them to be false.

Howarth also admitted not giving a pensioner written details of how a contract could be cancelled after calling unannounced at her home and saying work needed to be done.


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The charges followed a crackdown by trading standards officers from Suffolk County Council who were working alongside the police, Age Concern and other interested agencies.

Hugh Rowland, prosecuting at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court yesterday on behalf of trading standards, said he would be seeking an Asbo that would prevent Howarth cold-calling for business for the next five years.

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Mr Rowland said that although he was not legally obliged to, he had informed Howarth's legal team of his intention to seek an Asbo.

“Magistrates have it within their powers to grant an Asbo as part of their sentencing for these matters,” he said.

Richard Mann, mitigating, said he would be opposing the application for an Asbo and successfully appealed for the case to be adjourned for three weeks to enable him to take further advice from his client.

Magistrates also called for full pre-sentence reports on Howarth to be prepared by the probation service before adjourning the case to Monday, May 22. Howarth was granted unconditional bail.

Magistrates have hard that Howarth called at the home of a pensioner in Kessingland last June and told her that various work needed to be done on her property.

He submitted a bill for £1,895 for work that included replacing guttering, pointing and repairing a garage roof and was paid by the pensioner.

However, when trading standards called in a chartered surveyor to examine the building, he could find no evidence of any such work being carried out.

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