Rogue trader who struck in rural Preston is caged in one of Lancashire Trading Standard's biggest ever sentences
A rogue trader who used charm, lies, and fake website logos to trick people into having work done on their suburban homes has been jailed for 47 weeks.
Notorious trader John Hargadon, 49, struck at the doors of homes in Goosnargh, Barton and Hoghton, including showing them neighbour’s driveways he had not even done.
In one case he conned a school worker and his wife, a nurse, out of more than £4,000 for shoddy work he never finished at their home in Goosnargh, near Preston.
Hargadon, 49, of Cross Skelton Street, Colne, first approached them claiming he was working in the area and had noticed their “driveway was looking a bit tired”.
Before the botched work was even completed Haragdon was calling the couple, pressuring them for payments. He admitted a string of six fraud and consumer offences after performing shoddy or incomplete work on their properties.
Preston’s Sessions House Court heard how Hargadon had enticed one victim, a 57-year-old headteacher, by directing her to a professional looking website emblazoned with endorsements, the logo of RatedPeople.Com, a well-known tradesman recommendation scheme, a Most Trusted rosette, and a Focus on Quality trust mark.
She paid nearly £4,000 for shoddy work on her driveway which was never completed. Prosecuting, Jack Troup said: “Eventually the defendant agreed to return the money, however no payments have ever been received.”
A 73-year-old man also fell prey to Hargadon’s pushy cold-calling tactics.
The retired painter and decorator, who lives with his disabled wife in Hoghton, gave him £231 to do work at the side of his home - but Hargadon disappeared with his cash.
Hargadon admitted six offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.