Two rogue traders who tricked elderly neighbours into having shoddy driveway work have been given suspended jail terms and must pay their victims compensation.
Unscrupulous Darryl Kirkbright and Wayne Singleton told lies to manipulate neighbours on Stephendale Avenue in Bamber Bridge into shelling out cash - only to find their driveways crumbling, flooded and riddled with weeds a few weeks later.
One victim, an 80-year-old man, has since passed away, and his widow has been left with an "absolute mess", including weeds popping through the surface and pools of standing water.
Victims were spun a series of lies, such as Kirkbright's father had laid their driveway, that they had laid other driveways nearby, and were given a fake business address at Red Scar Industrial Estate, Preston.
Preston Crown Court heard the men operated ‘Unique Surfacing’, and in April and May 2017 approached residents seeking work, including elderly Kenneth Wignall.
Prosecuting, David Traynor said: " Despite having a sticker in his window indicating cold callers were not welcome, on a date in mid April there was a knock at his door. He answered to find the defendant Wayne Singleton who introduced himself as ‘Stuart’ and asked if Mr Wignall wanted his drive re-surfacing as it was starting to crumble.
"Mr Wignall asked for the details of houses where work had been carried out by way of references and he was given the addresses 14, 30 and 38 The Alders which was a nearby housing estate.
"Singleton provided Mr Wignall with a price for the work and left him a flyer for Unique Surfacing but at that stage Mr Wignall was not interested in having any work done.
"About six weeks later, in May 2017 Darryl Kirkbright attended at Mr Wignall’s address."
Kirkbright claimed his father had laid his existing driveway about 15 years ago - but his dad had died in 1979, the court heard
He offered to undertake the work on the driveway at a "special price" which Mr Wignall should not tell his neighbours about - but in reality they were offering similar work for the same or a similar price to neighbours.
Mr Traynor added:" Not only does Kirkbright not tell of the cancellation period but he almost immediately started marking up the driveway with spray paint and Mr Wignall commented that he felt that there was ‘no going back.’
"He asked when the old surface was going to be removed but was told this did not need to be done.
"He objected as he had seen his neighbour’s old surface had been removed and Kirkbright then agreed that it should be done but said he required a further £150 for labour and to dispose of the materials."
On May 20 Singleton attended to collect the payment in cash - charging him an extra £175 'VAT' the pensioner had no idea about.
The pair also tricked his neighbours.
One woman was told Kirkbright's father had laid her existing driveway, which he offered to relay for a "special" price of £2,000 - again starting straight away without giving her cancellation rights.
A month later she was having difficulties with standing water. When she phoned Unique Surfacing neither got back to her.
Another retired lady had a similar experience and is now worried she will slip on frozen pools of water.
A retired man and his wife found their driveway was lifting in two areas and had to hit it with a hammer.
A second man found his tyres left imprints on the crumbling drive in hot conditions.
Kirkbright, 53, of Red Lion Street, Earby, who has eight convictions for 19 offences, admitted six offences under Unfair Trading Regulations .
They include committing misleading actions by either claiming a special price was being given, failing to tell consumers cancellation rights, and giving a fake business address.
Singleton, 54, of Cotton Tree Lane, Colne, who has 10 convictions for 20 offences, admitted five similar matters.
Their six month jail terms were suspended for two years.
READ MORE: Rogue trader jailed after conning widow, 88