Rogue trader prosecuted for second time

A rogue trader has been prosecuted for a second time by North Somerset Council Trading Standards.

James Maloney, of Moorland Park, Hewish appeared at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday 30 May) and pleaded guilty to an offence in breach of the Fraud Act 2006.

He was sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay a total of £2,285 in compensation, costs and victim surcharge.

The court was told that Maloney, trading as Design Lay Paving, had carried out work on a driveway in Langford and claimed he had applied two coats of sealer to the drive.

However, independent experts found no trace of any sealer being applied to the driveway. They estimated the value of the work Maloney had carried out to be between £170 and £300. Maloney had charged £1,500 for the work.

The court heard that the offence had been committed in March last year at a time when Maloney was awaiting sentencing for a previous almost identical offence.

On that occasion Maloney, then trading as New Style Driveways, had falsely claimed to have sealed a driveway in Winscombe. He was sentenced to 80 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £2,000 in compensation and costs.

The presiding judge at yesterday’s hearing, Judge Hart, told Maloney he had a “habit of dishonest behaviour” and warned him that if he came back to court “a judge may be compelled to lock you up”.

North Somerset Council’s executive member whose portfolio includes trading standards, Cllr Peter Bryant, said: “We will continue to protect our residents from rogue traders and crack down on people like Mr Maloney who show scant regard to the law. Those providing services to our consumers have a duty to uphold the law and provide a fair and honest service.

“Our advice is to always obtain several quotes before agreeing to home maintenance work, use local businesses that have been recommended by friends or family where possible and never rush into a contract. Take time to think and shop around for the best deal.”