Following an investigation by the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) Trading Standards Service working with the PPP Joint Case Management Unit, on 12 October 2018 at Reading Crown Court Mr Marvin Little of Wheeler Avenue, Swindon, was sentenced after pleading guilty to two offences of fraud and two offences where work was incomplete and/or of a poor standard contrary the requirements of professional diligence under Regulation 3(3) of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Marvin Little, a tradesman specialising in tarmacking, undertook minor building projects in addition to his tarmacking work. Between March to November 2016, Mr Little, trading under his own name or under the name of Pavmac, took advance fees for work he did not intend to carry out at all or misled customers into believing their work would be carried out at some point in the future. Where work was carried out it was of a substandard level and often unfinished to a degree it could properly be characterised as criminal.
In October 2016, Marvin Little received £4,500 in advance fees for work he never started after quoting to do building and/or driveway work at two properties in Hungerford. Between July and November 2016, Mr Little was paid £5000 for work in Hungerford to remove/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. An independent expert stated the work was of such poor quality it was only valued at £1,434.00 plus VAT. The fourth offence related to Mr 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 was paid £2,300.00 in cash towards the work, installed a concrete foundation for the shed which was too small. Little left the job without completing the work with the homeowner having to complete the work himself. An independent expert valued the work at just £944.00 plus VAT due to the poor quality. Mr Little was sentenced to a 2-year community order based on doing 80 hours of unpaid work and, £3,600 compensation order towards repaying his victims.
Commenting on the case Cllr Iain McCracken, Chairman of the Joint Public Protection Committee, said: “The Public Protection Partnership will always investigate such complaints by the public and legal action will follow where appropriate. This kind of offending that leaves people with unsafe property and out-of-pocket is completely unacceptable. We believe this sentence sends a clear message to would-be perpetrators.”
He went on to say: “All Bracknell Forest, West Berkshire or Wokingham residents that have concerns about activity of this nature, or any other trading standards or public protection matter, should contact the service on 01635 519930 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org”.
The Public Protection Partnership is a shared service of West Berkshire Council, Wokingham Borough Council and Bracknell Forest Council and delivers trading standards, environmental health and licensing functions.