THE boss of the most complained about roofing company in West Yorkshire has been jailed for ripping customers off with inflated bills for substandard work.

Andrew Pollard, 37, of Longfield Road, Pudsey, who traded as A&J Roofing Solutions Ltd, pleaded guilty at an earlier court hearing to ten offences under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The conviction was secured last month by the West Yorkshire Financial Exploitation and Abuse Team (WYFEAT) which was set up with the aim of combatting rogue traders who prey on the vulnerable.

Across 2016 A&J Roofing Solutions Ltd was the most complained about company in West Yorkshire in the field of roofing, fascias and guttering, Leeds Crown Court heard.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service received numerous complaints alleging seriously deficient workmanship, misleading representations regarding the necessity and extent of work and many customers who complained of problems to Mr Pollard were strung along and given false promises that they would be rectified.

Victims of A&J Roofing Solutions, who were spread across Bradford and Leeds, reported to the officers of Trading Standards that they were attracted to the company by its professional-looking leaflets, website and sign written vans.

It was only later, when the prices started to escalate or when it began to rain that they realised that they had been dealing with a rogue trader.

During interview, Pollard admitted that he would not have been happy if a roofer had carried out the same standard of work to his roof.

In total the victims paid more than £34,000 to A&J Roofing Solutions with many then having to pay other traders more money to put the problems right.

In one case Pollard’s company carried out a full re-roof of a property, where the total cost of the work was ratcheted up over time to a total of about £12,500.

Pollard admitted in court that the cost of a full re-roof should only have been £3,500. The stress of this led to the 68-year-old home owner being admitted to hospital.

A 96-year-old woman was left helpless as work done to the roofline of her home quickly became defective and no-one would attend to put it right despite persistent complaints to Pollard.

In another case, a 75-year-old woman who lived alone was forced to move out of her property as a result of extensive water leaks following roofing work carried out by Pollard's firm.

Jailing Pollard for 20 months the judge, Recorder Simon Eckersley, told him: “These failures during this period were systemic.

"They had a huge effect on your victims. Many attempts to alert you were largely ignored.

"These offences are so numerous and over such a length of time and have had such a palpable effect on your victims that a custodial sentence is inevitable”.

After the case, David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “We are extremely pleased that the courts have taken such a hard line on this case.

"This sentence sends a strong message to rogue traders that their unscrupulous tactics will not be tolerated. I would urge anyone wishing to report unfair sales tactics or seek advice on doorstep crime to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, who has helped to provide joint funding for the WYFEAT scheme, also welcomed Pollard's jailing due to impact his actions had on his victims.

"It also sends a clear message that robust action will be taken against anyone who sees taking advantage of vulnerable people as an easy pay day," said Mr Burns-Williamson.

"I would again like to put on my record my thanks to the WYFEAT team for their dedicated work on this case."