Rogue Trader gets cold turkey for Christmas

Published Friday, 13th December 2019

Prestige Driveways and Patios Ltd, entered guilty pleas to one offence of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006 and six offences of unfair trading contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading R...

Brian Tomney, the Director of a local company, Prestige Driveways and Patios Ltd has received an eight month custodial sentence and disqualification as a Director for 3 years for fraudulently misleading local residents that his company was approved by or is a member of various Trade bodies or associations including the Guild of Master Craftsmen and the Federation of Master Builders.

On 9 December 2019 at Croydon Crown Court, Judge Flahive sentenced Brian Tomney of Layhams Road, Bromley to an eight month prison sentence following guilty pleas to offences of Fraud and Unfair Trading. 

Brian Tomney, Director of Prestige Driveways and Patios Ltd cold-called on the homes of residents in Sutton offering to carry out paving and garden landscaping. He handed out flyers advertising his business which included claims that the business was a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen and the Federation of Master Builders. The Company website also made false claims of membership of Trusted Trader, Rated People and MyBuilder. 

Photo of the offending flyer

The offending flyer that was distributed by Prestige Driveways and Patios Ltd. The company has since ceased trading.

An investigation by Trading Standard Officers at Sutton Council found that Prestige Driveways and Patios Ltd was not a member of the Trade Bodies stated on their flyers and website. This resulted in residents being misled into believing that the company has been vetted and approved by the Guild of Master Craftsmen, Federation of Master Builders and was approved by Trusted Trader, Rated People and MyBuilder. 

The Consumer protection regulations protect consumers from unfair, misleading or aggressive selling practices. Falsely stating membership of a trade body is an unfair practice which is banned and carries a maximum fine of £5,000 or on indictment a fine and up to two years imprisonment or both.

Cllr Manuel Abellan, Chair - Environment & Neighbourhood Committee said;
“We are very pleased that the courts have imposed this sentence on Mr Tomney who was misleading Sutton residents about the credentials of his company. When contracting for work to your home do not be pressured into signing up for work at the doorstep. Take your time and check out the credentials of the trader”.


Trading Standards advice is:

  • Don’t engage with or deal with doorstep callers.
  • If you are told or believe that your homes requires work such as roofing or other maintenance, obtain three quotes from local traders. Word of mouth recommendations from someone you trust who has had a good experience with the trader are always best.
  • If you find yourselves in a situation where you have contracted for goods or services with a doorstep caller, the trader is required to provide you with a cancellation notice giving you 14 days to cancel the contract. If they fail to do so, it is a criminal offence.
  • Paying by credit card for goods or services costing over £100 gives you extra protection as the credit card provider is equally liable for any breaches of contract and are liable to refund monies paid.
  • If you are concerned about a cold caller to your home report it to trading standards on 03454 040506, or to the police on 101. If you feel threatened by a cold caller, always call 999.

Background

Prestige Driveways and Patios Ltd, entered guilty pleas to one offence of fraud under the Fraud Act 2006 and six offences of unfair trading contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. 

Prestige Driveways and Patios Ltd dissolved on 19 November 2019 and is no longer trading.