A landscape gardener who consistently failed to carry out work he had promised has pleaded guilty to two offences under the Fraud Act.
Darren Edwards admitted the offences on Friday (March 2), when he appeared at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court, following an investigation by MK Council’s Trading Standards Department.
In April 2016, a resident of Milton Keynes contracted Edwards, from Rushden, to carry out landscape gardening work at their property.
He received £4,000 up front for materials and the work was due to start in July 2016. However, despite having the funds he gave a variety of excuses as to why he couldn’t start the work.
Finally on September 1, 2016, men working for Darren Edwards turned up at the property, and stayed on site for approximately an hour carrying out minimum work before disappearing with no explanation as to why.
On contacting Edwards, who had been trading as trading as Stansons Landscapes, the resident was promised their money back; however they never received any, and contacted Milton Keynes Trading Standards who carried out an investigation and discovered that no materials had been ordered by Mr Edwards.
He received a two year conditional discharge after admitting two offences under Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.
Milton Keynes Council was awarded full costs of £2755.83 and a £20 victim surcharge was also levied. The magistrates also urged Darren Edwards to pay back the £4,000 to the victim.
Sue Crawley, MKC’s Trading Standards Team Manager, said: “Darren Edwards had plenty of opportunity to either carry out the work or refund the victim. It is extremely disappointing that he did neither.
“We will look to take action against any trader that operates in this way. I would urge anyone who has any similar issues to report the matter to us on 03454 04 05 06.”
Also by the Milton Keynes Citizen newspaper: