Lostock Hall couple were charged more than £4,000 by rogue trader - who did just £300 of work for them

A trader charged a poorly man and his wife £4,350 for shoddy driveway work valued by officials at just £300.

The unfortunate Lostock Hall resident had seen an advert for “Artificial Lawns and resin driveways” in August 2018, Preston Magistrates’ Court heard.

Magistrates' Court

Magistrates' Court

David Varey, 36, of Moscow Mill Street, Oswaldtwistle, and the victim agreed a price of £2,000 to remove a plum tree, ivy, and lay coloured gravel.

Work was carried out over the next two days, but no paperwork was given.

READ MORE: Cowardly rogue traders targeting Lancashire's elderly and vulnerable

When the homeowner told him a few days later he was unhappy with the quality, Varey returned and told him he had put proper visqueen under the gravel to stop the weeds, and that the red bonded resin was fine without foundations as it would only be walked on and not driven on.

He then pressured him into having his driveway done.

The victim was told it would “withstand power washing and was suitable to have a caravan stood on it”.

After the work to the front drive was completed Mr Kerr paid £2,350 in cash.

Varey gave him a piece of paper as a receipt, but it failed to contain the required information regarding the identity of the owner and business address.

Varey promised to send receipts and guarantees in the post. but the victim never received it and made 13 calls to Varey.

It was discovered the drive had a base of unsuitable paving slabs, and had been done with a resin bond not recommended for a driveway, due to vehicles passing over it regularly.

The stone had not adhered, and some areas were void of any stone, or could be lifted with simple finger pressure.

Prosecuting for Lancashire Trading Standards, Claire Box said: “ Mr Kerr says that the drive looks appalling and worse than before he had the job done.

“Don Waterworth, an independent Building Surveyor, inspected the work and reported on the standard of it.

“Mr Waterworth said in his report ‘the work carried out by the contractors is well below the standards that one would expect of a reasonably competent tradesperson, and indeed well below the standard one would expect of a competent DIY person.”

Varey admitted three unfair trading offences and was ordered to pay £4,050 compensation, an £800 fine, £1,334 costs and an £80 surcharge.