Conman used false Brierley Hill address to pocket thousands laying dodgy driveways (From Stourbridge News)
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Conman used false Brierley Hill address to pocket thousands laying dodgy driveways
4:58pm Friday 28th June 2013 in News
A CONMAN used a false Brierley Hill address to trouser £15,000 laying "shoddy and appalling" driveways that crumbled within days.
Patrick Dunne gave customers worthless guarantees for his poor work and they felt intimidated and threatened as he made demands for his money.
The 44-year-old father of eleven was a "menace" to the community, said Mark Jackson prosecuting, adding: "There can be absolutely no doubts his activities and behaviour have plainly caused harassment, alarm and distress."
Mr Jackson said that if Dunne was permitted to continue cold calling on unsuspecting members of the public in the area and "dupe them with fraudulent advertising material and take money for shocking work then further distress was inevitable."
Judge Helen Hughes told Dunne, who used a bogus address in Tiled House Lane while making false statements, there was no doubt people had felt threatened by his attitude.
She said: "All customers parted with money and they were entitled to expect good workmanship. In fact they got the exact opposite and they were left with no redress."
The judge said driveways laid by Dunne, who used the name JJ Callaghan, had quickly cracked and fallen apart and weeds had forced their way through the tarmac, When one angry woman managed to get through to him on his mobile Dunne was laughingly heard to say to someone: "This stupid person thinks I am going back to repair the drive."
Mr Jackson told Wolverhampton Crown Court that Dunne "conned and duped his customers in almost every aspect of his dealings with them."
He lied about his name, his business address, that work was guaranteed, that his business offered the best customer care while he was failed to reveal to customers about their rights to cancel his services.
One customer paid him £5,700 for a driveway but despite making a string of complaints to Dunne he failed to return to carry out remedial work.
A disabled man was also amongst his victims and he paid Dunne £800 after being told rubbish would be dumped on his driveway if he did not come up with the money.
Dunne, of Stafford Road, Coven, Wolverhampton, admitted a total of 21 charges involving the defrauding of customers and participating in a fraudulent business. He was jailed for 15 months.
Simon Rippon, for Dunne, stressed it had never been his client's intention to be intimidating adding: "He does not accept he went out of his way to seek payment for shoddy work by being aggressive."
He told the court he had a big Irish accent and he was forthright when he spoke and while accepting he had made "grave errors of judgement" in the case there were many more customers who had been highly pleased with his work.
Dunne was sent to prison just over two years after a Brierley Hill man was jailed for 18 months for offences committed while working for a firm called JJ Callaghan.
Stacy Handley, a father of five, of Raglan Street, pocketed up to £57,000 from laying shoddy drives having admitted 73 offences and asking for a further 41 to be taken into consideration.
The court was told at the time that Handley mainly targeted pensioners who had been left distraught by the standard of his work and he carried on despite repeated warnings from trading standards officers.
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