Cowboy builder shares name with genuine workmen

CLEARING HIS NAME: John Barton fears customers have mistaken him and his business for Crosswell Alan Barton's company

CLEARING HIS NAME: John Barton fears customers have mistaken him and his business for Crosswell Alan Barton's company

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ROOF repairs and guttering specialist John Barton believes he’s the unwitting victim of a case of mistaken identity.

Mr Barton, of Douglas Head, who works alongside his son Dean, aged 36, believes he’s seen a drop in business after a cowboy builder with the same surname admitted charges of deception and making a false trade description earlier this month.

Mr Barton said that he had felt it necessary to come forward to clear his name after his partner and son had both been asked a number of times whether the charges related to him.

‘I need to make it quite clear. It’s nothing to do with me,’ he said.

‘I just want to clear my name.’

He described business for the last three or four weeks as having gone ‘very quiet’.

‘Our work tends to be either dead busy or dead quiet,’ he said.

‘Work tends to be trickling in each week but we haven’t had any big phone calls that we would normally get for this time of the year.’

Mr Barton has been self-employed since 1975 after following in his father’s footsteps.

‘I have been able to keep going all this time so I must have quite a good reputation,’ he said.

‘It’s not nice for people to think it’s me.

‘I feel annoyed and hurt that even these people that know me can think it’s me.’

He said that word of mouth was essential in getting new customers

‘When you do a good job for someone they will recommend you to someone else.

‘That’s how it goes – a lot relies on reputation.’

Earlier this month, Crosswell Alan Barton, trading under the name of Simply Roofing, was sentenced to three months in jail suspended for two years and fined.

The deception offence was committed when he dishonestly obtained £4,250 from his victim by falsely representing that roofing work listed in a quotation had been completed.

In fact that work had not been completed.

He made the false trade description when he placed an advertisement in a local paper stating that Simply Roofing was established in 1985, whereas in fact the business was established in November 2011.

He was brought to justice after an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading’s trading standards department. As well as receiving the suspended sentence, he was fined £500, and ordered to pay costs of £2,617 and compensation of £4,500.

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