A Bideford builder and handy-man has been told to carry out 200 hours of community work and pay £1,000 after being sentenced for fraud.

Leonard Eastwood, 60, of Royston Road, Bideford, pleaded guilty to the charges on Tuesday June 18 at Barnstaple Magistrates Court. The case was brought by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service.

Eastwood, trading as LE Gardens and Patios and Ocean View Paving, had failed to provide three consumers with important legal cancellation documentation prior to starting work for them.

He ignored previous advice from Trading Standards of the need to give this information, with the aim of preventing customers from exercising their right to cancel.

The incidents took place in January and June 2018 when he undertook maintenance work and the laying of resin bonded driveways for consumers in Sticklepath and Fremington.

Work on two resin bonded driveways was found by an expert to be below the expected standard of a competent resin driveway contractor. Some victims faced having to pay out more than £2,000 to put their driveways right.

In one case the bill for the work carried out by Eastwood was overpriced by £2,000. When asked to put the work right, Eastwood provided a series of excuses and did not rectify or complete the work.

Eastwood received a 12-month community order for 200 hours unpaid work. He was also told to contribute £1000 to the prosecution's costs.

Stephen Gardiner, Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standard's legal process manager, said: "Consumers should exercise caution when dealing with cold callers. We would suggest getting two or three quotes before committing to any work.

"Asking neighbours if they have had any work done recently and would they recommend the person is also helpful.

"Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards administer a Buy With Confidence scheme, members of which have been audited by Trading Standards Officers, and this may help consumers in selecting a reputable tradesperson."

Details can be found at https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/business/home