Investigations by KCC Trading Standards played a major part in bringing a persistent doorstep conman to justice.
Between February and April 2015 Patrick Doran and his company, Quality Style Paving Limited, targeted four victim households in Kent, carrying out substandard and significantly overpriced driveway work.
Doran (25) was jailed for a total of 27 months at Leicester Crown Court on Friday (30 October) after previously pleading guilty to two counts of fraud and charges of engaging in unfair commercial practice, using aggressive sales methods and misusing a TrustMark trade association logo.
He asked for the four offences of fraud by false representation in Kent to be taken into account.
Doran, from Bitteswell, Leicestershire, instructed his workmen to construct block driveways which were deemed by independent experts to be next to worthless.
Expert opinion on three drives showed that compared to a total price charged by Doran of around £15,500, the actual value was deemed to be £640.
One retired couple in Ramsgate paid £5,500 for a driveway which the expert valued at around £145.
A former policeman, also from Ramsgate, had to climb down his own sewer to clear rubble that had been left by Doran’s workmen. This victim paid £4,300 for his driveway which the expert valued at around £440.
Work often started before permission, as in the case of a retired man in Caple-Le-Ferne who went out for the morning and returned to find his driveway was being dug up. Doran ended up charging £1,550 for a driveway which the expert valued at £48.
A couple also agreed to Doran constructing a new entrance to their caravan touring site in Old Romney for £2,800.
However, Doran using aggressive practices attempted to fraudulently up the price to £17,000. The victims stood firm but still ended up paying a total of £5,550.
Doran, often using the alias Dave Jones or Dave Doran, regularly misled his victims on the actual price they would have to pay, often adding in additional costs for manhole covers.
KCC Trading Standards Operations Manager Clive Phillips said: “We were pleased to cop-operate with our colleagues in Leicestershire in bringing a persistent fraudster to justice.
“Anyone thinking of having work done should obtain three quotes before making a decision.
“Doorstep conmen will often give low quotes as a lure to get you to agree the work. Then they will raise the price because the work has already started, and often the work is unsatisfactory and will cost you more in the long run.
“We work with our Trading Standards colleagues nationally to track down offenders and bring them to justice wherever they may be.”
If you consider that you need a new driveway, speak with friends and family who may know good tradesmen.
Alternatively Checkatrade are working with Kent County Council to provide a recommended trader scheme in Kent. Logon to www.checkatrade.com to find a Checkatrade vetted business.