A FORMER double glazing company boss has been jailed for five months for using cruel, aggressive and unlawful tactics to get money from customers.
John Connolly was the director of Fenny Stratford-based Homesure Windows Ltd and also Homesure Home Improvements.
This week at Aylesbury Crown Court he admitted two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulations.
Both involved using aggressive tactics during disputes over the quality of his company’s jobs for clients in Milton Keynes.
In one case an elderly gentleman was told that his windows would be removed if he did not pay up, the court heard.
Judge Francis Sheridan dismissed as “unlikely” the defence claims that Connolly’s workmen would have boarded up the windows to make sure the house was safe.
Connolly, 48, also admitted making a misleading claim by using an unauthorised ‘Secured by Design’ logo in a newspaper advert for Homesure Windows.
The court heard he was already in breach of a previous conditional discharge for falsely claiming Homesure had Trading Standards approval.
Judge Sheridan sentenced Connolly to four months imprisonment for the aggressive practices and added another month for the breach of the conditional discharge.
He told him: “The aggressive and unlawful practice is that payment was demanded there and then, relying on the fear of the consumer that he would be left with an insecure home.
“You were clearly responsible for the cruel removal policy. I am of the view that you were bullying.”
Milton Keynes Council’s head of Trading Standards Karen Ford said after the case: “We are pleased with this result.
“It shows that people cannot get away with using bullying tactics to try to force people to pay for work they are unhappy with.
“We expect traders in Milton Keynes to behave responsibly if a dispute arises with a client.”
Ms Ford advised people to do their research before choosing a contractor.
The council’s Buy With Confidence Scheme, which lists traders who have been thoroughly vetted, would be a “good starting point”, she said.
For details log on to www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/bwc.