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Company boss given suspended sentence after staff carry out work in Bath without permission

The director of a company that dug up the driveway of a vulnerable Bath resident without permission and then charged more than £12,000 for the work, has been given a suspended prison sentence.

32-year-old Johnny Rooney of Drivescape Limited, Semington was found guilty of failing to prevent his staff carrying out aggressive practices. 

He's been sentenced to four months suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 120 hours of community service.

He's also been banned from "on licence" premises for a year.

During a trial at Bristol Crown Court earlier in June this year, the court heard from Bath & North East Somerset Trading Standards officers that Rooney failed to stop his employees from digging up a driveway in Bath without permission. 

The resident, a lone disabled woman who had said no to any work being carried out, told the court how she was followed and pressured by the company. 

The following day she arrived home and found several Drivescape Ltd staff digging up her driveway.

The resident said she felt violated and intimidated by this and was pressured to pay the company £12,300 for completing the block pave driveway and other work.

Drivescape Ltd failed to provide the consumer with a written contract and written cancellation notice detailing the consumer’s right to a 14 day cooling off period.

Further to the sentencing, Rooney is due to appear in court in relation to a Proceeds of Crime hearing in January 2020.

“We take offences where elderly or vulnerable people have been victims of unfair trading extremely seriously," Councillor Paul Crossley said.

"They are a priority to our Trading Standards team and the sentencing of Mr Rooney illustrates that the courts will also take a tough line.

“Our team runs an approved trader scheme called ‘Buy with Confidence’ where residents can search for local businesses which have been vetted and approved by Trading Standards.

"We would always encourage anyone looking for a local business to carry out some work for them to visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk.”

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