A MAN exposed as a ‘dodgy’ plumber on TV was behind a poison pen campaign against a rival family.
Mohammed Shamrez, whose Express Plumbing company in Bedford was featured in BBC1’s Watchdog programme, distributed leaflets around town smearing another man.
Shamrez, 27, of Bromham Road, Bedford was at the town’s magistrates’ court on Tuesday along with co-defendant Mohammed Ishfaque, 21, of Marlborough Road, Bedford, charged with distributing leaflets around the Queens Park area of Bedford that made damning claims.
Both men were asked by their uncle in Pakistan to carry out the campaign which stated a member of a rival family was a fake muslim and a benefit fraudster. Magistrates were told that the feud was over a property deal in the Asian country.
Shamrez handed out leaflets with ex-KFC worker Ishfaque along Old Ford End Road and gave them away outside mosques on July 6.
However the pair were rumbled when a complaint was made to Bedfordshire Police about the flyers, leaving the two facing criminal charges.
The court was told that father-of-three, Shamrez, who claimed to earn £600 a month working for various family businesses, did it for the money. But Ishfaque faced further aggravation when it was discovered that the subject of the leaflet’s allegations was the uncle of his step-mum. Ishfaque later admitted he had never even read the leaflets.
Jane Anderson, defending, said: “Both men were asked by their uncles to distribute the leaflets. With Bedford being such a small town there have been repercussions as members of both families concerned have crossed paths. They (Shamrez and Ishfaque) are regretful for getting involved.”
The bungling pair pleaded guilty to a charge of public disorder. Magistrates gave each of them a 12-month conditional discharge each with both individuals paying £40 towards court costs - Shamrez offered to pay for both.
Shamrez, became a regular feature in Bedfordshire on Sunday after readers came forward to complain about being ripped off by the trader. One claimed she was charged £204 for five minutes work, another said she was slapped with a bill of more than £1,400 for two parts to a boiler.
BBC1’s Watchdog caught Shamrez, who also used the alias ‘Sam’ and ‘Tony’ red handed in an expose. On the show last year he was shown spitting on the floor, playing on his iPad and even practicing kung-fu moves all while he was charging £110 for every half-an-hour.
In February this year BoS reported that the tradesman’s Express Plumbing firm was being probed by Bedford Borough Council.
But complaints about his prices continued after his appearance on TV ,however this time it was residents in the capital left feeling stung. First mother-of-two Zoe Turner of Walthamstow, East London, was hit by a £500-an-hour charge and later Michelle Nicholas of Epping Forest was furious over a £1,000 cost of two-and-a-half hours work.
On each occasion it was said credit card details were given before Shamrez was called out and it’s claimed more money than had been agreed had been taken from their accounts.
Complaints from the captital continued last month with Dr Jonathan Scurlock of Notting Hill, Central London, allegedly charged £850 for two-and-a-half hours work.