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Justice catches up with ‘con man’

Huw George: “No comment”
‘Con man’: David John Hanford
‘Con man’: David John Hanford

A SWANSEA businessman who took money from customers throughout South and West Wales without carrying out the work he was paid to do, is starting a 26- week prison sentence.

David John Hanford of Grenfell Town, Bonymaen, was described by one of his elderly victims as a “con man.”

Hanford traded under various names including Apex Plastics, Apex P&R and One Call Repair, and cold-called consumers in their home offering fascia, guttering and roofing services.

The nature of the complaints included:

  • Taking deposits and not carrying out the work
  • Failing to issue correct paperwork
  • Carrying out shoddy work
  • Aggressive practices.

Hanford sometimes masqueraded as an employee of the business.

In many instances he would take a deposit and agree full payment on completion. However he would often start work and leave the property in a vulnerable state before demanding further payment, threatening to “walk off the job.”

Customers who complained were fobbed off by false promises.

One of his victims was deaf and was pressurised by Hanford to make a series of payments against the advice of a family member not to make them.

In front of the customer, Hanford pretended to telephone the relative before telling the victim that the relative had authorised the payment when in fact no such telephone call had been made.

Another of Hanford’s customers – an 87-year-old man – described him as a “con man.”

Legal proceedings against Hanford date back to December 17, 2012, when Judge Christopher Vosper – sitting at Swansea County Court – issued an Enforcement Order against him following an application by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Trading Standards department.

But despite the order being in place, Hanford continued his activities and Trading Standards in Pembrokeshire received further complaints from householders in Swansea, Neath and Bridgend – most of them elderly.

The County Council went back to the County Court on September 14 with an application to commit the defendant to prison.

Judge Vosper said he was satisfied that the Enforcement Order had been breached by Hanford on numerous occasions and ordered him to serve 26 weeks in prison.

In delivering the sentence, he added that the public needed protection from Hanford.

Police arrested Hanford on Monday (Feb 8) to begin his sentence.