‘Rogue trader’ tried to charge pensioner £6k to tarmac driveway

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

An alleged rogue trader was in court yesterday accused of trying to charge a pensioner £6,000 to tarmac her drive.

Dean James Winder , 26, confirmed that he understood the three charges against him at Newtownards Magistrates Court yesterday.

Winder, of no fixed address, faces single counts of fraud by false representation, engaging on misleading commercial practice and obstructing police between 10-13 February this year.

The alleged fraudster is accused of “providing false details and documentation of a company named Unique Style Driveways at 8 Hightown Road Newtownabbey with the intention, by making the representation, to make a gain for yourself or another or to cause loss to” the pensioner and telling her that he would “tarmac and repair her driveway for a price which was changed on a number of times during the work being carried out.”

Giving evidence to the court a police constable said he believed he could connect Winder to the offences and that police had objections to him being freed on bail as he comes from England originally, has no ties to NI and “has been flagged for breaching bail” on other matters on the mainland.

He described how trading standards contacted the PSNI “to report that a pensioner and her partner had been taken advantage of” in that a tarmacing job which was supposed to initially cost £2,000, incrementally increased and progressed to cost £6,900.

Outlining how the couple had already handed over a £4,000 deposit, he told the court: “Trading standards contacted the police, obviously concerns about the rogue trading aspect of it.”

The officer added that when police went to the alleged victim’s home, Winder was arrested in the couples’ driveway which he said, had been left “with uneven parts on it.”

The court heard that while Winder claimed to be working as Unique style drive ways from Newtownabbey, the registered address was in Blackburn and it had only been registered with company house in the last few months.

Adjourning the bail application to Thursday, District Judge Mark Hamill said he wanted to hear more evidence as to the bona fides and previous work history of the company and what offences Winder was already on bail for.