A ROGUE builder has been fined after he failed to complete gardening work for a Brierley Hill resident and refused to issue a refund.

Timothy Dickens, Westcott Road, Kidderminster, who was the sole director of the now dissolved Diamond Landscapes Limited, pleaded guilty at Dudley Magistrates Court on January 18 to offences relating to false and misleading representations made to the consumer, and for not issuing cancellation rights to them.

The resident was contacted by Dickens after they had put forward a request for gardening work online in June 2021.

Dickens, aged 33, verbally quoted £850 for the work with a £200 payment upfront and the consumer stated that they would probably go ahead with the work - but later in the summer.

Dickens induced the consumer into agreeing to the work by stating he could reduce the price to £700 after consulting with his “business partner”. However, there was found to be no business partner.

At the time of the initial work being undertaken, the consumer enquired with Dickens about some further landscaping work to the garden. Dickens told the consumer that as he was already doing work for them, he could do it for a special price of £1700 and could start straight away but would need £100 up front for the materials, which the consumer agreed to.

Over the coming weeks, the work had stalled as Dickens was having issues with no labourers and several no-shows.

Dickens insisted that he could undertake the work but if they did not want to proceed, he would cancel the materials and refund £500. The consumer decided to cancel, but Dickens failed to issue a refund despite attempts made by the consumer and Dudley Council Trading Standards to resolve the matter.

The court also heard how Dickens had not given the consumer their statutory cancellation rights when he was required to do so.

Councillor Ian Bevan, cabinet member responsible for trading standards said: “We will not hesitate to take legal action when traders break their contract or fail to deliver on a customer’s statutory consumer rights”.

Dickens, who is currently serving a prison sentence for an unrelated matter, appeared before Magistrates at Dudley Magistrates Court on 18 January.

He was fined £120, ordered to pay £500 towards Dudley Council’s costs and £500 compensation to the consumer.