A West Kirby-based rogue trader has been sentenced to two years in prison after conning people out of thousands of pounds.
39 year old Christopher James Morris also falsely claimed to be a donor to charity. The judge described him as “disgusting”.
The trading standards departments of Wirral Council and Warrington Borough Council launched the prosecution against Morris, from Springfield Avenue, West Kirby, and his company, Eco Shield Energy Solutions, after an investigation that lasted two years.
They had discovered that he carried out substandard painting work, lied about the quality of his materials in promotional materials and on his website, refused to return deposits, failed to give cancellation rights which in law consumers were entitled to and falsely claimed to be donating money to Claire House children’s hospice.
The company traded as a painting service, marketing itself as using a paint product with properties it did not have.
One of his victims, a woman from Great Sankey in her 80s, said: “This experience at my age has been very stressful, making me very wary of engaging contractors to undertake any work on my property.”
Morris pleaded guilty to 26 offences in total, 11 investigated by Warrington trading standards officers and 15 by Wirral officers.
Judge Stephen Everett said: “This was a dishonest operation from beginning to end. It was a con trick and you didn’t give two hoots about the victims. You and your employees targeted those who you believed were vulnerable. I have no doubt you knew what was going on.”
He also specifically commented that the claims in respect of Claire House on the company flyers was “despicable” telling Morris that: “People buying your product believed you were donating to the charity. You may well hang your head! This was as disgusting an operation as I have seen in a long, long time.”
Morris was sentenced to two years in jail with one of those to be served on licence.
He was also disqualified from being a company director for five years and paid £100 victim surcharge.