Rogue trader given suspended prison sentence
A rogue trader who conned customers out of thousands of
pounds by overcharging them for his services has been given a
suspended prison sentence for breaching the terms of an Enforcement
The sentence was issued to Mohammed Shamrez, director of Express
Plumbing Ltd, which also traded under the name 'London Emergency
Plumbers', by Luton County Court.
Mr Shamrez, 30, of Iddesleigh Road, Bedford, was also ordered to
pay Bedford Borough Council's costs of £40,643 within 28 days.
He was issued with the Enforcement Order in October 2013
following an investigation by the Council’s Regulatory Services
Mr Shamrez continually breached consumer protection legislation
including deliberately misleading consumers about the price of his
services and how he would be paid, deliberately overcharging for
his services, deliberately overstating the time taken to do jobs,
deliberately taking payments from consumers without authorisation
and lying about his position in the company in order to avoid
The Court heard how Trading Standards Officers had received
dozens of complaints starting just weeks after the Enforcement
Order was granted, and which continued right up until February this
Her Honour Judge Davies stated that she was satisfied that
Shamrez had acted deliberately throughout, was highly culpable and
had caused financial detriment, as well as anxiety and stress to
consumers, in the bracket of £20,000 to £100,000. She further
stated that he had failed to demonstrate remorse and his acceptance
of his actions was belated.
The court heard that Mr Shamrez had ceased operating his
plumbing business as of 8 February this year and that his business
website had been taken down.
However, he must continue to display a warning to prospective
customers on each page of any websites that he uses for any
businesses he is involved with currently or in the future. The
warning informs potential customers that Mr Shamrez is subject to
the terms of an Enforcement Order.
Should Mr Shamrez be found to be in breach of the order in the
future he will receive a six month custodial sentence, as well any
additional time imposed for the further breach.
Councillor Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety
and Regulatory Services, said: “Bedford Borough Trading Standards
Officers do their utmost to protect residents from rogue traders
who are out to rip them off and will take the necessary enforcement
action where rogue trading is apparent.
“Mr Shamrez charged excessive sums for his work and repeatedly
misled customers but, thanks to the diligent work of our Regulatory
Services team, he has now been held to account.”
Anyone who suspects a rogue trader should call Consumer Direct
on 03454 040506.