A PEMBROKESHIRE man has received a 12-month community order after pleading guilty to defrauding a retired couple in rural Ceredigion out of £7,800 in what was his second conviction in two months.

Benjamin Michael Davies, of Haverfordwest, pleaded guilty to fraud offences committed while trading as BMD Agricultural Shed Services, following a case brought by Ceredigion County Council’s Trading Standards (Public Protection).

Only last month Davies was prosecuted by Pembrokeshire County Council Trading Standards for similar unfair trading practices following a complaint over ‘shoddy’ shed work from a Pembrokeshire consumer.

In the latest case, Haverfordwest magistrates heard how between February 2020 and July 2020, Davies, dishonestly told his victims that he would build a barn extension for them.

It was said that the defendant had instilled a sense of trust in the couple by assuring them that he was experienced in barn construction, that he would employ a structural engineer, and that he could purchase materials at a special price for them.

Davies repeatedly promised to begin work on various dates and then failed to start work on those dates as they came and went.

He was said to have abused the trust of the victims and used a myriad of excuses for not doing the work, including claiming that his father had passed away.

Davies’ solicitor stated that his client was remorseful, that he fully intended to pay the money back, and that he had intended to carry out the work but personal and financial problems had overtaken him.

He asked for his client to be spared imprisonment as he had joint care of his son.

Magistrates gave Davies a 12-month community order with a requirement to do 300 hours’ unpaid work and attend 25 days rehabilitation.

He was also ordered to pay a £95 victim surcharge, along with costs totalling £1,917.08 and £250 to the victims towards the emotional distress they had suffered.

Davies had already been ordered to repay the victims following a civil case in a county court.

Cllr Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Finance and Public Protection said: ““Rogue traders are a menace to consumers and reputable builders alike.”