A rogue trader has been convicted of seven offences following an investigation by Salford Trading Standards.
Patrick Brien of Rosette Walk, Swinton failed to complete landscape gardening work for several customers in 2019. After repeatedly asking them for more money for materials, Brien told customers to “stop stressing him” when they contacted him to find out when their work would be finished.
Brien failed to complete one job in November 2019, telling the client he would walk away because she had threatened to report him to the police and Trading Standards. He then took on another job in mid-December which he promised and failed to complete by Christmas.
An expert surveyor called in by Salford City Council’s Trading Standards team to examine the mess he left behind said the work carried out was “minimal, substandard and far from being complete” in both cases and was “not concurrent with that of a competent contractor.”
Brien appeared at Salford and Manchester Magistrates Court in January and pleaded not guilty to four offences under the Fraud Act. He also denied three offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, two relating to professional diligence and one to misleading action.
Having been found guilty on 27 May, Brien was sentenced to 18 weeks in custody for Fraud Act offences on 15 July. He was also ordered to pay a compensation order of £2,126 to one client and £526 to another.
His sister Katrina O’Brien of Foxhill Road, Eccles was convicted of two offences of money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, involving a total of £3,190 paid into her bank account. She was sentenced with a 12-month community order with 24 rehabilitation days, ordered to pay £350 in costs and a victim surcharge of £85.
Speaking after the court case Councillor Barbara Bentham, lead member for environment, neighbourhoods and community safety, thanked the Trading Standards team for bringing the legal action and praised the householders for having the courage to speak up. She said their willingness to attend court and give evidence had enabled the case to be brought and justice served.
“Salford will not tolerate rogue traders cheating residents like this and we will take action to stamp them out,” she said.
“People paid Mr Brien to get a job done. Instead they were fed a series of lies, conned out of more and more money and even threatened before he vanished taking their money and leaving a mess behind him.”