A KITCHEN fitter has been jailed for attempting to pervert the course of justice after claiming he was kidnapped.
Gary Cooper, of Thomas Brassey Close, Chester, pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 10 months at Chester Crown Court.
Cooper, 49, posed as a respectable tradesman operating throughout the Cheshire and Merseyside area.
On May 25, 2012, he contacted the police to report he had been the victim of an alleged kidnap. He claimed he was made to drive his vehicle to a deserted location in Widnes where he was assaulted and demands were made against him for money owed to a former employer.
Following police investigations, it transpired no such crime had occurred as there was no passenger in his vehicle.
Cooper had also tried to implicate a specific individual with the kidnap.
He had been due to complete a kitchen fitting job on the day of the false kidnap, but had not finished the work and apparently had no intention of doing so.
Detective Constable Tim Cope said after the sentencing hearing: "I would advise members of the public to protect themselves by only paying when the work has been completed to a satisfactory standard.
“Do not pay for materials in advance for the tradesman, and only employ the services of reputable firms.
"It is apparent that websites advertising the services of allegedly reputable tradesman can be deceived, by perhaps tradesman offering incorrect details.
“I would suggest any tradesman hired from these websites have positive feedback going back a considerable period, certainly longer than a month."