A PAIR of dodgy driveway dealers who targeted residents in East Sussex have been handed suspended jail terms.
Miles Delaney and Johnny Rooney, trading as Everlast Driveways, ‘cold called’ householders in Plumpton Green, near Lewes, offering to block-pave their driveways.
But while some residents were happy with the work, others complained they were hit with additional charges for things they were initially led to believe were part of the contract.
Delaney, 23, of Green Lane, Shipley Bridge, Horley, Surrey, and Rooney, 24, of Weald Street, Bampton, Oxfordshire, were prosecuted following an investigation by East Sussex Trading Standards and admitted participating in a fraudulent business.
In a hearing at Hove Crown Court, they were each given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work.
They were also each ordered to pay £1,625 in compensation to their victims and £1,000 court costs.
Cllr Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Council lead member for economy, said: “This case highlights how important it is for residents to be extremely cautious when dealing with doorstep callers.
“People should not be pressured into agreeing for work to be carried out straight away – even if they’re being offered discount prices – and should take the time to do their research and ensure they know who they’re dealing with and are paying a reasonable price.
“This prosecution shows how seriously we take these matters and I’d like to commend our Trading Standards officers for their hard work and to thank Sussex Police and the residents of Plumpton Green for their assistance.”
People looking for businesses to carry out work in their home can request a copy of the latest approved trader directory listing businesses registered under the Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme online at www.eastsussex.gov.uk or by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.
Also available by calling the same number is a free ‘Super Sticker’ which people can display at their front door warning doorstep traders to stay away.