A rogue trader landscape gardener who overcharged for poor or incomplete work was imprisoned for eight months today.

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Andrew Smith (aka Andrew Wellbourn), 41, of Chapel Avenue, Wisbech St Mary, who traded as Acorn Landscapes, Andy’s Tree & Garden Services and Mr Gutter, admitted five charges of fraud by false representation and failing to disclose statutory information at Huntingdon Magistrates Court.

His gardening and guttering repair work was investigated by Trading Standards after complaints from the public about incomplete and unsafe work.

Victims complained the final cost of work was at times double the original quote.

An independent surveyor described the standard of work as ‘very poor’ and carried out by people whose only interest was making money from vulnerable people.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mathew Shuter said: “Cases such as this protect residents from unscrupulous traders and help to protect legitimate business whose reputation can be tarnished by traders like this one.”

People are advised to take care when employing a trader and use friends and family recommendations along with the Cambridgeshire County Council Buy with Confidence Scheme www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk.

Anyone who has encountered problems with a trader can seek confidential, impartial advice from Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.

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