Rogue trader left gar­den look­ing like ‘a con­struc­tion site’


Burton Mail - - News - By HE­LEN KREFT he­len.kreft@reach­ @he­len_kreft

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

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