A rogue trader conned an NHS worker on maternity leave out of £3,000 during the Covid pandemic.
The case was investigated following a complaint that Miles Maughan, 27, had poorly installed a dropped kerb and a tarmac driveway in Thornbury. The driveway had sunk and caused various trip hazards, amongst other problems.
Maughan, who traded as Driveline Landscaping and previously Driveline Paving, pleaded guilty to four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, which were committed in May 2020.
It was established that he failed to comply with legislation on doorstep sales and had not provided his customer with details of their 14-day cancellation rights, despite being advised by Trading Standards about this on two separate occasions in 2014 and 2019.
Maughan, of Moorland Park in Hewish, also gave false customer testimonials on review sites to secure work and claimed his business was based at 18 Southside, Congresbury, which was a false address.
Maughan’s trading practices were also of concern as he was shown to have started work within the 14 day cancellation period and without the request of his customer, thereby committing a separate offence of an aggressive commercial practice.
Bristol Crown Court heard how Maughan applied pressure on his prospective customer by attending their home to carry out the work before the contract had actually been agreed.
The court was told Maughan’s victim, who is an NHS worker, even had to return to work early from maternity leave in order to try and recoup the money lost in order to have the substandard work rectified.
Maughan was sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work, with the victim having previously received a full refund of £3,000.