Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Gardener convicted of fraud

Gardener convicted of fraud

Reading Magistrates' Court

A GARDENER has been ordered to compensate his victims following fraud offences.

Kane Wootten, 23, of Wenlock Edge, Charvil, admitted to two charges of fraud and three charges under consumer protection law at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

He used social media to attract new business, responding to requests on Facebook between April and July last year.

He accepted payments for materials and deposits, sometimes amounting to more than 50 per cent of the value he had quoted to do the work in full.

No work was done in three of the four gardens and in one case Wootten asked for a second payment of £1,450 in addition to the £1,500 deposit.

He was convicted following an investigation by the Public Protection Partnership Trading Standards Team.

He received a 12-month community order and will have to complete 160 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £6,369 in compensation to his victims.

Wootten admitted he had taken the money from his last two victims to help pay for his rent.

The investigation was carried out after three Wokingham Borough residents and one in Reading requested work in their gardens, including laying paving, artificial grass and installing decking or fencing.

Councillor Parry Batth, Wokingham Borough Council’s executive member for environment and leisure, said: “The actions of the defendant were completely unacceptable.

“People have the right to assume that when they hand over money, the work they are paying for will be carried out.

“I would urge anyone who feels they have been the subject of unfair trading to contact the PPP service.”

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