Lying landscaper sentenced to 10 months in prison for making false claims

After failing to appear at his first sentencing and then being tracked down over five months later in Kent, a rogue trader was sentenced to 10 months in custody at Ipswich Crown Court on 2nd September 2015 for giving false business details and lying about his qualifications.

Joseph Dewing, 53, formerly of Trimley St Martin and his company Premier Landscapes had previously pleaded guilty to 10 charges under consumer protection regulations.

The sentencing followed an investigation led by Suffolk County Council’s Trading Standards team after a complaint about the activities of a doorstep trader in Felixstowe.

Premier Landscape flyers that had been supplied to various houses in Felixstowe stated the company as having a local business phone number, which was in fact a public call box.  The leaflets also showed that the company employed “fully qualified tradesmen in all aspects of landscaping and brickwork designs” when the trader did not hold any related qualifications.

Dewing was caught in September last year, when Trading Standards responded to a rapid response call whilst the trader was at the home of an elderly resident in Felixstowe. Dewing had been paid upfront for landscaping work and had dug over the homeowner’s garden; throwing the garden rubbish over the fence on to a public field.

Councillor Sarah Stamp cabinet member for communities said: “Day in day out our trading standards team see first-hand the devastating impact rogue traders can have on the lives of unsuspecting householders; financially and emotionally.

Earlier this year we launched a real crackdown on rogue traders and cold callers, highlighting a huge range of scams that people can be exposed to. The sentence given today is a boost to the protection of consumers and a clear message that we will not allow unscrupulous behaviour that deliberately targets the most vulnerable members of our communities, and most often the elderly.”

If anyone is concerned about being approached by a rogue trader they should contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506. When seeking a reliable trader, talk to family, friends and neighbours to get recommendations or look for a Trader via Checkatrade.com, whose local members are vetted by Suffolk Trading Standards”

Suffolk Trading Standards’ ‘Join the Fight’ campaign helps expose criminals like Dewing, with members of the public acting as Consumer Champions; forming a bridge between Trading Standards and the local community.

The Consumer Champion Network, which was initially set up in 2010, helps Trading Standards to reach residents directly through the dedication of individuals willing to volunteer in their community. Champions can spread the message by holding talks at their local library, chatting with friends and family or simply sharing information on social media. If you feel you could make a difference and ‘Join the Fight, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/jointhefight.

10 Tips on Dealing with Doorstep Traders

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: