Rogue trader sentenced for paving scams

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A rogue trader has been sentenced following an investigation by North Yorkshire County Council trading standards into his aggressive practices to force people into paying for sub-standard driveway work.

David Welch, along with his company Stately Driveways, was convicted under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 for using aggressive trading practices to apply undue pressure to Scarborough and Malton residents to get them to agree to have driveway work done.

Scarborough Magistrates’ Court heard that Welch made repeated visits to residents during the same day, told residents he would take them to the bank to obtain payment and to see other driveways he had worked on, and then failed to respond to phone calls from residents when the work he carried out on their driveways began to fail.

A Scarborough resident who lives alone was put under pressure by Welch and eventually agreed to have an existing block paved driveway replaced and one couple made 75 calls to Welch to try to secure a repair for their driveway without success. Welch and his company were also convicted of using a false address on business flyers, which meant that customers could not make contact through writing, either.

Welch, formerly from Scarborough and who now living in Lancashire, was fined £2,000 for each of five offences, making £10,000 in total, and ordered to pay compensation totalling £16,000, to former customers.

The company was given a conditional discharge for three years.

County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Trading Standards, said: “I am delighted that the court recognised the severity of David Welch’s action in sentencing him today. I hope that this case sends a message that rogue traders are not welcome in North Yorkshire and our trading standards team will do all it can to protect our residents from unfair and aggressive trading.”