A â€˜gardenerâ€™ who conned a man out of thousands of pounds by significantly overcharging for work has been given just one week to reimburse the victim.
Michael McDonagh, aged 49, of Wrenbury Avenue, Manchester, admitted fraud.
At Manchester Crown Court on Monday 13 October 2014, he was given a nine month supervision order and was ordered to pay the victim Â£3,600 within one week. He must also carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
Over two days in October 2013, McDonagh visited a 60-year-old man at his home on Stow Gardens, Withington.
He told the man that there was a significant amount of work needed on his garden, including digging up a root under concrete.
He charged the man a total of Â£4,100.
The majority of work was not needed and the work done has been reviewed and estimated to have cost no more than Â£1,000 if completed by highly skilled staff.
Detective Constable Shaun Nicholls, said: â€œMcDonagh shamelessly and without hesitation charged hugely inflated prices for work that was shoddy and unprofessional.
â€œEven a reputable and skilled workman would have completed the necessary work for one quarter of the amount charged and subsequently paid by the victim.
â€œThankfully, he has been forced to reimburse the man and has just seven days to do so.
â€œI would encourage people to be wary of cold callers and to always ask for identification and check the credentials of the caller or the business they purport to represent. It is also advisable to seek a second opinion and quote before agreeing to have the work done.â€