Rogue traders sentenced

Thomas Doran, 42, and Jeremy Connors, 39, both from Essex, were found guilty of false and misleading representations at Oxford Magistrates Court this Friday (October 26).

The pair, trading as Brett Driveways, cold-called their victims claiming that essential work needed to be carried out on their drives and in some cases offered to defer payment as part of the deal as well as a ten-year guarantee for the work. They then carried out the work, to a poor standard, and demanded payment immediately using aggressive tactics.

Victims duped

One of their victims was approached by Jeremy Connors who offered to replace her driveway for £2,000. She declined his offer and he returned a week later offering to do the job at a discounted price of £1,500 after claiming that they worked on a house nearby and had some leftover materials. He also offered to defer payment for a couple of months. On completion of the work, Thomas Doran then demanded payment immediately and claimed that if she was to pay after a few months, which was originally agreed, the price would rise to £2,000.

Another victim had his drive redone by the pair for £2,400 and was offered a 10-year guarantee. On completion of the work, the victim asked for a copy of the guarantee and didn’t receive it. The pair didn’t complete the work to a satisfactory standard as the drive has ripples and is coming apart.

Targeted the vulnerable

Mr Doran and Mr Connors were ordered to pay £600 for each offence, a £15 victims surcharge and costs of £577 each. Mr Doran was ordered to pay £200 in compensation to one of the victims.

Anu Prashar, from Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards, said: “We are pleased with the action taken by the courts as it sends out a message that this unacceptable working behaviour will not be tolerated.

“They appeared to specifically target vulnerable, older victims with the intent of intimidating them into paying inflated prices for work that not only wasn’t required but also wasn’t of the standard expected.  

Safety warnings

Cllr Judith Heathcoat, Cabinet Member for Stronger and Safer Communities, said: “We urge people not to take up offers of work to their homes from cold callers and to visit the council website, which offers safety warnings and advice when dealing with cold callers and companies carrying out work.”

You can find reliable traders, approved by Trading Standards, in your local area by checking the Buy With Confidence scheme at: www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk