ROGUE TRADER BROUGHT TO BOOK IN BRISTOL
James O'Driscoll was sentenced in his absence at Bristol Crown Court on 13 November 2013 to 16 months imprisonment for fraud and trading standards offences and 28 months for money-laundering offences.
He was arrested for fraud in september 2011 following a joint investigation by Avon and Somerset Police and Bristol Trading Standards which led to his appearance in court this week.
The court heard that O'Driscoll would cold call at premises – often elderly victims – seeking work to clean and maintain the occupant's driveway. A price would be agreed but no paperwork exchanged, with victims intimidated into paying more than the original price.
O’Driscoll admitted to one offence of fraud, money-laundering and five trading standards offences regarding aggressive and reckless trading practices.
At a sentencing and confiscation hearing, which he failed to attend, he was sentenced to a total of 44 months for fraud and trading standards offences. The court heard that James O'Driscoll benefitted from his criminal conduct to the value of £119,708 and had assets to satisfy the compensation order of that full amount, including balances in bank accounts in the UK and Ireland, as well as hidden cash.
SCLT Volunteer Ryan Jones commented, "Traders who employ dubious practices when dealing with vulnerable older adults should take a lesson from what has happened to O'Driscoll. He will have plenty of time to reflect upon his actions during his coming years spent in prison, as well as forfeiting all his assets as part of the court decision. It just shows that crime never pays, and those who target the vulnerable will be treated in the strongest possible way by our justice system"