A GARDENER botched a landscaping job so badly that he was brought to justice and fined thousands of pounds.
Daryl Sanders, of Hartlepool, County Durham, left a couple’s garden ‘looking like a horror’ as they carried out arguably Britain’s worst lawn renovation.
Teesside Magistrates Court learned how the couple employed Sanders to fit out part of their property in May 2020, paying him £ 5,900 for the work.
But once Sanders was done with the task, a number of issues arose, including loose paving slabs and edging blocks that had been laid on a thin sub-base laid directly over the existing turf without digging.
Some blocks can be simply lifted by hand and the joint will crack immediately, allowing weeds to spread.
The new sod was leaking in places and the couple discovered that it had simply been laid on a diseased old patch of grass and turned over.
A concrete base that needed to be a set size for a particular garden shed was also made too small, meaning the outside building would not fit.
Sanders was asked to come back to rectify the work and he agreed to do it ten times, but did not come back repeatedly.
With no resolution found, the couple took the small claims route and got it right.
But no payment was spat out by Sanders, so the couple were forced to contact Hartlepool Trading Standards, who arranged for the works to be appraised by a licensed member of the Landscape Institute.
A report concluded that the work had not been performed to an acceptable level for paid service and would cost the home owner more to rectify and restore the materials in an acceptable manner.
Sanders pleaded guilty to performing unsatisfactory landscaping work without reasonable care and skill and was ordered to pay more than £ 2,600 in fines and costs.
Neil Harrison, Senior Business Standards Officer for the Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The Business Standards Department will not hesitate to take action against those who scam consumers in this way.
“All traders are capable of doing a poor job from time to time, but the number of issues with this job was just unacceptable and together with the trader’s failure to come back and fix the issues, lawsuits were ruled on. appropriate.
“Unfortunately for the victims in this case, they find themselves with their back garden looking for a horror and they will have a significant expense to make the garden look like it should.
“Cases like these are stressful for those involved and we urge anyone with concerns about work being done on their property to contact Trading Standards at (01429) 523362.”