Jail for TV repair conman

By on 07/04/2011 in News

A notorious TV repairman, who has already spent 12 months in prison and been investigated on national TV, was today sent back into custody at Birmingham County Court after once again being caught trading illegally by Birmingham City Council.

 Gurdave Singh Sharma was sentenced to 15 months in prison after being found guilty of Contempt of Court under the Enterprise Act 2002 for breaching the terms of an order put in place in 2006, which barred him, upon his release, from continuing the illegal practices for which he had been imprisoned initially.

 The new case came after Trading Standards received more than 160 complaints about Mr Sharma's activities between 2009 and 2010, most relating to the same practices for which the Council had first prosecuted him in 2005.

 Complaints and breaches of the law included:

  •  Using misleading names and telephone numbers to make people elsewhere in the country wrongly believe they are dealing with a local company 
  • Receipts did not contain the real name of the company
  • Not resolving complaints within a reasonable time
  • Failure to carry out work with reasonable care and skill, or to keep appointments to return TVs
  • Refusing to return TVs which had either been repaired or deemed beyond repair to their rightful owners

 In 2009 Mr Sharma was featured on the BBC's Rogue Traders, which highlighted the nationwide scale of his misleading operations, all conducted from an industrial unit in Washwood Heath, despite the claim they were based 'locally' in dozens of areas of the country.

 Sajeela Naseer, Head of Trading Standards said:

 “From the level of complaints we have continued to receive since his release, there is clearly little doubt that a term in prison has done little to persuade Mr Sharma to correct his ways.

 “The scale of his operation is truly shocking, with hundreds of people from right across the country falling victim, and those are just the ones we know of.

 “Perhaps more than any other this case clearly highlights the problems which can arise from blindly picking a tradesman from the phonebook without any references or knowledge of who they really are.

 “Our advice therefore is clear, whenever possible only deal with tradespeople who you, or someone you know, has used in the past. If you can't do this it is worth doing some quick research before you hand over goods or money to ensure the business you engage with is legitmate and genuinely who they claim to be.

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