West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards brought the case against 32-year-old Samuel Luke Kwame Noye, of Millthorpe Road in Horsham, who traded under the name Direct Property Maintenance. On 28 September, Lewes Crown Court (sitting at Brighton) heard that Mr. Noye’s five victims, aged between 48 and 78, were defrauded out of tens of thousands of pounds. The biggest loss was £21,300 with many victims also having to pay out more to have the work put right.
Samuel Noye began his fraudulent activities in June 2020 and faced nine charges of misleading and overcharging for roofing work at five West Sussex properties. An expert chartered surveyor who assessed Noye's work condemned it as ‘abysmal’ and ‘extremely poor.’ Mr Noye pleaded guilty to two offences, one of money laundering and another under Fraud Act 2006. The court set a hearing date in March 2024 for confiscation of property under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Cllr Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue said: “Noye preyed on his victims by deliberately misleading them into agreeing to roofing work that was done extremely poorly, leaving victims distressed and out of pocket by tens of thousands of pounds.
“This fraudster took money from vulnerable victims and West Sussex County Council's Trading Standards team urges residents to remain wary of traders who approach homeowners on the doorstep and stresses the importance of doing your homework before hiring anyone. This recent incident serves as a clear reminder of the risks.”
Richard Sargeant Trading Standards Team Manager stated: “Rogue builders aren't always easy to spot and are very good at duping homeowners. Residents are urged to be extremely cautious of anyone who turns up on their doorstep offering to do work - that perhaps they didn't even think they needed - at 'too good to be true' prices. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations of traders they have used or find a trader who is part of an approval scheme such as ‘Buy with Confidence.’”
To search for Trading Standards approved traders, go to the Buy with Confidence website. If you believe you have been the victim of a rogue trader, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.