Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fiddler on the Roof Gets First Builder Asbo

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fiddler on the Roof Gets First Builder Asbo

Article excerpt

Byline: By Adam Jupp

Crooked roofer is banned from working

A crooked workman dubbed the `fiddler on the roof' has become the first builder to be hit with an Asbo.

James Bowes pressured pensioners into having roof tiles fixed for supposedly budget prices.

But he did botched jobs and charged his vulnerable customers up to pounds 1,000 more than the value of his work.

He even threatened one woman when she became suspicious and refused payment.

Now he is facing jail and has been banned from working as a roofer until further notice after JPs gave him an interim anti-social behaviour order.

Dave O'Brien, head of Newcastle trading standards and licensing, said: "Obviously, we will have to wait and see whether a full Asbo is granted.

"But in the meantime, this order should serve to protect the consumers Bowes preyed on illegally.

"This is the first time we have applied for an anti-social behaviour order against a tradesman but it is a tool we will look to use more in the future."

Bowes, 46, of Stanton Street, Newcastle, traded under the name of Fenham Roofing and targeted people in the city's West End.

Newcastle City Council trading standards officers and police acted after receiving a complaint from a 52-year-old retired woman, living in Chapel House, Newcastle.

Bowes had been working on a neighbour's house and approached the woman to say she needed tiles re-pointed and re-bedded, the chimney stack re-pointed and tiles replaced.

He offered her a supposedly `discount' rate of pounds 420 and said the work would be done within 45 minutes. But when the customer struggled to contact Bowes, she got suspicious and cancelled her cheque.

On July 2, a fuming Bowes returned to the house and threatened to smash up the work he had done if he was not paid. Police were called and warned him not to contact the woman again. …

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