Rogue trader left garden looking like ‘a construction site’
SUSPENDED SENTENCE FOR MAN WHO TOOK £9,000 FOR CONSERVATORY BUT DIDN’T COMPLETE WORK
A ROGUE trader who took £9,000 off a couple to build a conservatory and carry out landscaping did not complete the work and left their garden like a “construction site”.
Images supplied by Staffordshire County Council show the large ditch Darren Woodley left in the garden after promising to build the conservatory and carry out landscaping.
As a result, the couple were left out of pocket and unable to buy family members birthday and Christmas presents.
Woodley, of Meadow Lane, Newhall, has been made the subject of a nine-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to repay the total amount to the victims after appearing in court.
He was sentenced at Stoke Crown Court for the offence carried out in June 2017. He had pleaded guilty to fraud offences at an earlier hearing.
Woodley, 49, agreed to build a conservatory and landscape the garden for the Tamworth couple under his company name – First Call Maintenance. The wife, aged 56, who has a disability and receives care in her home, had paid £9,000 into Woodley’s private bank account.
Woodley did not provide any business paperwork or a cancellation notice on receiving the deposit, said a council spokesman. After starting work at the property, Woodley soon left and failed to progress it. He later declared himself bankrupt.
Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team investigated and brought the prosecution against Woodley, who must also carry out 150 hours’ of unpaid work.
The woman said Woodley had left her garden “like a construction site” and that her husband had used his retirement money to pay for the works. She added that they had since struggled financially and been unable to buy family members birthday and Christmas presents.
Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said after the case: “This was a callous crime by someone who clearly had no intention of carrying out the work he had been paid to do.
“This was a huge sum of money which the victim has now lost. It has had a terrible effect on her financially and emotionally so we are pleased with the outcome of this case and that Woodley has been ordered to pay the money back.
“Our trading standards team works principally to support Staffordshire businesses but also protects residents and helps to keep people safe. We always urge people to obtain at least three quotes for work they need doing, to go on personal recommendations and to be extremely wary of cold callers.”
The trench that had been left by Darren Woodley in a couple’s garden