Wed, 07 Nov 2018
A ROGUE trader preyed on Hungerford householders, conning them out of thousands of pounds.
In two instances, 46-year-old Marvin Little took advance fees for work he never intended to carry out.
In two others, he grossly overcharged for work so substandard that it could properly be characterised as criminal, Reading Crown Court heard.
Little, who lives at Wheeler Avenue, Swindon, Wiltshire, appeared in the dock for sentencing on Friday, October 12.
He had previously admitted two offences of fraud and two offences of carrying out incomplete or poor work under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
The court heard that the first two offences were committed in October, 2016, when Little received £4,500 in advance fees for building and driveway work he never even started at two Hungerford homes.
Then, between July and November 2016, he was paid £5,000 for work in Hungerford to remove or rebuild a driveway, lawn area and wall.
The wall bowed and had to be rebuilt and there were various other problems with the standard of work, the court heard.
The fourth offence related to Little being employed, in October 2016, to cover up a trench at the front of a property, build a path and provide a concrete base for a shed in the rear garden.
Little, who charged £2,300 in cash, installed a concrete foundation for the shed which was too small.
To add insult to injury, the court heard, he then left without completing the work, leaving the out-of-pocket home-owner to do the job himself.
Little was sentenced to a two-year community order and ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid community work.
In addition, he was ordered to pay £3,600 compensation to his victims towards their losses.
Little was brought to court as a result of a joint investigation by West Berkshire Council trading standards department and the West Berkshire Public Protection Partnership (PPP) Joint Case Management Unit.
After the sentencing, the chairman of the PPP committee, Iain McCracken, said: “The PPP will always investigate such complaints by the public and legal action will follow where appropriate.
“This kind of offending that leaves people out of pocket and with unsafe property is completely unacceptable.”
He added: “We believe this sentence sends a clear message to would-be perpetrators.”
West Berkshire residents with concerns about activity of this nature, or any other trading standards or public protection matter, can contact the service by calling (01635) 519930 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org