Newlook Roof Coatings Ltd Employees Imprisoned
Newlook Roof Coatings Ltd company director Phillip Christopher Twose and sales representative John Colin Gumbrell were each sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for rogue trading offences.
Since September 2009, the pair cold-called over 500 victims who were predominantly elderly and pressured them into signing contracts for roof coatings which were completely unnecessary.
They told consumers that the moss on their roofs was dangerous and would eventually cause them to cave in. The company said that getting a replacement roof would cost an extortionate amount, so they offered to ‘fix’ the consumer’s roofs with their roof coating product. They began the sales pitch with an alarmingly high price, then dropped it with a series of so-called discounts, which was a ‘one-day-only special’, tricking consumers into thinking they were getting a good deal.
They claimed that the roof coating product would have the same benefits as a new roof, such as: improve efficiency, lower heating bills, prevent leaks and even increase value to their property.
However, Herefordshire Council’s Head of Consumer and Business Protection, Mike Pigrem stated that: “There is no doubt that moss causes no damage whatsoever to tiles and the roof coating process is a wholly unnecessary treatment.”
So, instead of seeing improvements to consumer’s roofs, like they were promised, problems occurred such as broken tiles, leaking roofs, and moss regrowth.
The company had no interest in conducting a high-quality job and didn’t consider the consumer’s personal well-being. Sentencing the men, Recorder Mr. Redgrave QC told both defendants that: “[their] motive behind the offences was to extract as much money as possible from the public.”
In the two years in which the company scammed consumers, they made over £2.4 million until Trading Standards and West Mercia Police from Hereford raided their Monmouth offices in December 2011.
Summing up the sentencing, Recorder Mr. Redgrave QC stated that: “Part of the reason for these sentences is the hope that others will be discouraged [from doing the same thing]. [The company’s] conduct caused loss to some, anxiety for many and gives rise to indignation on the part of the public at large.”