A ROGUE gardener who made false claims to attract customers on Facebook and then carried out poor work across the borough has been handed a £2,360 fine.

James Worsey, aged 27, of Halesowen Road, Dudley, who traded as KJGS Gardening Services, admitted being involved in a fraudulent business at Dudley Magistrates Court.

Dudley Council, prosecuting, told the court two customers from Quarry Bank and Halesowen employed and paid Worsey to carry out garden improvements after seeing his false claims to have had a number of satisfied commercial clients.

In both cases he failed to advise of cancellation rights and carried out work of such poor quality it had to be re-done.

The council said that in Quarry Bank, Worsey installed a fence which fell over the next day and an Astro Turf lawn which had to be re-laid.

He dumped rubbish on a neighbour’s garden after charging to remove it and failed to return to complete the job or remedy the problems.

In Halesowen, he installed an Astro Turf lawn which was so uneven it had to be taken up and re-laid, failed to lay drains properly, charged for a skip which he didn’t provide, and left rubbish on site.

The court imposed a 12-month community order on Worsey, including a six-month curfew between 7.30pm and 7.30am, and ordered him to pay £1,660 in compensation to the two customers and £700 in costs.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council said: “This prosecution sends out a clear message we will protect consumers from the activity of rogue traders who flout the law and carry out sub-standard work.

“This kind of activity causes a huge amount of distress to the victims who have worked hard and saved to pay for improvements to their homes and are then badly let down.”

Dudley Council has a number of services set up to protect residents from rogue traders and has urged anyone who is suspicious of doorstep callers to call the Bogus Caller Hotline on 01384 812045 to report an incident.

The council also offers a ‘Fix a Home’ list of local approved traders, with copies available online at www.dudley.gov.uk/resident/your-council/trading-standards/fix-a-home/