A ROGUE trader has been handed a two year suspended sentence and ordered to pay costs of more than £4,700 five years after he was first caught by Thurrock’s Trading Standards team.
John Kenny, aged 51, of Allen Way, Chelmsford, who traded as a car mechanic under the name Grease Monkey’s or Gas Monkey’s, pleaded guilty to fraud at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday 10 April. He had ripped off customers taking money for parts and repairs to their vehicles which were not supplied.
He was first tracked down by Thurrock Council Trading Standards Team in 2013 but told the courts that he had dementia. At today’s hearing the judge said she was “cynical” of his medical evidence and Kenny’s defence no longer advanced that he suffers the condition in court.
Kenny was convicted of giving customers false information, misleading information and omitting information to deceive and obtaining money with a promise to supply goods or services but failing to do so.
Sentencing him to six months imprisonment suspended for two years Judge Leigh said this was the oldest case on the court’s books and predated her time on the bench. Handing Kenny his sentence she said: “You are a rogue trader who is cruel and cynical and exploited people.”
Kenny was also ordered to pay £1,757 compensation and £3,000 costs.
A spokesperson for Thurrock Council said: “This rogue trader has attempted to evade justice for many years but thanks to the dedicated work of our Trading Standards officers he has finally been brought to justice.
“We work hard to protect residents from rogue traders and will always prosecute to the full extent of the law.”
Residents who want to report a rogue trader should call Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.