A FRAUDULENT plumber has been jailed after overcharging a Malvern couple hundreds of pounds for repairs leaving them feeling ‘mugged’.
Steven John Greenaway was sentenced to 16 months behind bars at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Thursday (May 1).
The 41-year-old from Marlpool Lane in Kidderminster admitted 13 fraud offences across Worcestershire and the West Bromwich area.
Greenaway charged for work he never carried out, claimed money for unnecessary repairs and generally overcharged for services by more than six times the recommended price in some instances.
Prosecutors told how a Malvern couple said they were ‘mugged’ after paying him £1,200 for an emergency call out to fix a leaking radiator valve. Greenaway carried out unnecessary work draining the system and fitting extra pipework and charged for anti-rust chemicals which he never used.
He also claimed an extra £84 per half hour to collect parts. Experts estimated the whole job should have been carried out in around two and a half hours. The radiator was still leaking when Greenaway left.
In another Worcestershire incident he demanded £800 from an elderly couple in Fernhill Heath for fixing a leaking stop tap, a repair plumbing experts said should have been carried out in less than an hour for around £120.
Greenaway also left a vulnerable mother and daughter from St Johns in Worcester feeling ‘threatened’ after charging £1,000 for repairing a dripping tap, a job which should have cost no more than £300.
The court heard that he had also been convicted for two counts of fraud relating to work for an elderly man in 2012.
The joint prosecution was brought by Sandwell Council’s Trading Standards Department and Worcestershire Regulatory Services.
A WRS spokesman said: “Steven Greenaway preyed on victims, often elderly and vulnerable, in their own homes and the prison sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences.
“We hope this successful case sends a clear message we will not tolerate illegal and fraudulent trading practices and that the targeting of vulnerable people in our community is a matter of grave concern to us.”
Residents have been urged to only use registered traders by checking www.worcestershire.gov.uk/traderregister and avoid door to door callers.
Anyone with concerns should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Advice Service on 08454 040506.