Landscape contractor ordered to compensate his customer

Shoddy and unfinished work to block-pave a drive in Telford has led to a court ordering a landscape contractor to pay more than £5,000 to his customer.

Michael Newland of Hopkins Heath, Shawbirch, trading as MRN Landscape and Design, appeared before Telford Magistrates Court yesterday (4 January) in a case brought by Telford & Wrekin Council’s trading standards.

The court heard Mr Newland began to carry out the work at a house in Wellington in August 2016. The agreed work was to replace a concrete drive with block paving, replace a concrete path with gravel, remove a tree, paint a gate and install a planter. However, in carrying out the work Mr Newland damaged the garage foundations. In September, he stopped the work telling his customer he was unwell. The work was left unfinished. 

With the block paving then sinking into the ground, the customer turned to a different contractor to have the work finished.

Mr Newland pleaded guilty to ‘trading in breach of professional diligence’ which included the damage done to the customer’s property, failure to complete the job and failing to refund the customer for not finishing the work.

He also admitted a charge of ‘use of an aggressive trade practice’ by threatening to stop working unless he was paid a further £1,000 on top of the initial deposit paid earlier. The original agreement was for the outstanding balance to be paid upon completion of the work.

Mr Newland was ordered to pay £5,170 in compensation to the customer and £180 in court costs.

Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement said: “This was a bad job that was left unfinished, leaving it to the customer to turn to someone else to help to literally pick up the pieces.

“Thanks to the work of our Trading Standards team who brought this case to court, that customer has rightly been compensated. 

“If you have work that needs doing, I would always recommend checking out Telford & Wrekin Council’s Trading Standards Accredited Scheme. 

“You can check the register to find a business you can trust near you.”

The Telford & Wrekin Trading Standards Accredited Scheme can be found here

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