A teenage rogue trader from Burgess Hill who preyed on residents in East Sussex has been handed a suspended custodial sentence.
Lewes Crown Court heard that Michael Casey ‘cold-called’ householders in Willingdon, Eastbourne, offering to replace their driveways, but hiked up his prices once they had agreed to employ his services.
Trading as J&M Stonecraft, he delivered poor quality work and failed to provide customers with cancellation rights in the correct written format, the court heard.
The 19-year-old, of Fairplace Hill Caravan Site, Fairbridge Way, admitted participating in a fraudulent business and engaging in aggressive commercial practices following an investigation by East Sussex Trading Standards.
He was sentenced to 15 months detention in a Young Offender Institution, suspended for two years, placed on a 12 month supervision order and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.
Councillor Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Council lead member for economy, said: “This case highlights the need for residents to be extremely cautious when dealing with doorstep callers.
“It may be tempting if someone is offering a quick job, special offers or discounted rates, but getting involved with the wrong kind of trader can be a stressful and costly experience.
“We would strongly urge people take the time to shop around, do their research and ensure they are dealing with a reputable trader and paying a reasonable price.”
East Sussex Trading Standards offers an approved trader directory under its Buy With Confidence scheme and free stickers which can be used to deter doorstep callers.
They can be obtained by calling 08454 040506 or online at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/buywithconfidence