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LANDMARK ASBO FOR ROGUE BUILDER

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Lewisham LBC has obtained a record-breaking Anti-Social Behaviour Order against a rogue builder....
Lewisham LBC has obtained a record-breaking Anti-Social Behaviour Order against a rogue builder.

The ASBO imposes what is believed to be the first lifetime ban forbidding someone working in the building industry across the whole of England and Wales. It also prevents the rogue builder from directing others who work in the building industry. Prior to the order, the longest ASBO to have been imposed on a rogue builder is understood to have been seven years. Five years is more commonplace.

Anthony Rossiter of Beechwood Drive, Meopham, Kent, received a 4.5 year prison sentence at Blackfriars Crown Court on 29 March for swindling an elderly couple from Forest Hill, south east London, out of thousands of pounds.

Trading standards departments across the south east of England had received complaints from people ranging from 70-92 year olds. The complaints could be traced back to 2002; soon after Rossiter's release from serving another prison sentence for a similar offence.

The nature of the complaints and Rossiter's 'bad character' informed the judge's decision.

Judge Martin Griffith said: 'I realise that the terms of the ASBO are draconian. However, I believe they are fully justifiable in this case.'

Earlier, during his closing remarks at the trial, the judge had said: 'You have relied on your skills to talk to people with a line of chat that is well practised and that you used to persuade the victims to part with£6,500 in five days. You tried to confuse the victims by introducing other people and blaming them. Only an immediate and substantial prison sentence can be justified in your case.'

A Lewisham spokesman said: 'Simply describing such a trader as a 'cowboy' trivialises what is an outright criminal act. We strongly advise all consumers not to do business with traders who knock on their door offering to carry out work.'

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