A judge has ordered a jailed rogue North Devon plumber to pay out more than £16,263 to the victims of his crimes.

Victims of a jailed rogue plumber from Instow will receive more than £16,000 of his ill-gotten gains.

An Exeter Crown Court Judge ordered Gary Henry, 56, from Instow, who has served seven months of a two-year prison sentence for fraud, to pay £90, 000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, with £16,263 to go to his victims.

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service (DSTTSS) investigated Henry after complaints that his work was shoddy and vastly overpriced.

Councillor Stuart Barker, Devon County Council's cabinet member with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: "This is an excellent result for Trading Standards and reflects the hard work of the officers involved in the investigation.

"The Proceeds of Crime Act means that we can now ensure people like Henry don't profit from their criminal behaviour.

"We will do everything in our power to take back every penny made from illegal behaviour and reimburse the victims."

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service (DSTTSS) investigated Henry after complaints that his work was shoddy and vastly overpriced.

On one occasion Henry, who traded as Barnstaple Plumbing and Heating and Gary Henry Ltd, charged an elderly couple, both recovering from illnesses, £3,860 for a boiler he bought for £1,699 and a £870 for a flue pipe costing £87.

The couple were also charged for work that was not done.

Henry also overcharged another customer for a faulty oil fired system which could have put the victim's life in danger.

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Services' Interventions Manager Steve Gardiner said: "The use of Proceeds of Crime legislation will enable recompense to be paid to those victims we have identified, and also means that money Mr Henry has made from his crimes can be confiscated by the treasury.

"These cases are thankfully fairly rare, but to avoid dishonest plumbers, people could use the Buy with Confidence scheme to find a trader so that they know the traders will be Trading Standards Approved."

If you are concerned that you might be the victim of a rogue trader, know someone who might be, or want some advice on how to recognise a scam,call 01392 381381.