Sentencing of Fife Trader following Trading Standards investigation

The owner of Fife based landscaping and paving businesses, who took deposits for work that he did not then carry out, has been sentenced following a prosecution report submitted by Fife Council’s Trading Standards Team to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Fife Trading Standards team began an investigation into the owner after receiving a number of similar complaints from consumers. Large deposits had been taken from customers amounting to at least 50% of the total cost of the contract but failed to carry out the work as agreed. Despite attempts by consumers to obtain refunds, the owner failed to return money taken.

The owner pled guilty to 4 charges of fraud and will refund a total of £20,100 to 4 consumers. In relation to two additional charges of fraud which he did not plead to, he also agreed to refund monies totalling £3847. The owner has received a 45-hour community payback order and will be subject to a 6-month supervision order in respect of the monies due.

Lyndsey Radke, Lead Trading Standards Officer said:“Consumers should be able to put their trust in tradespeople, particularly when asked to pay significant amounts of money upfront, and to expect all works are completed satisfactorily, within reasonable timescales and as agreed.

We hope this prosecution sends a clear message that Trading Standards takes complaints of this nature seriously. We will not hesitate to investigate and take appropriate action against traders who flout consumer protection laws and cause consumer detriment”.

Anyone who feels they have fallen foul of a rogue trader and wishes to seek advice should contact Advice Direct Scotland, the consumer advice organisation who work in partnership with Trading Standards services in Scotland. Telephone 0808 164 6000, Website