A New Waltham builder pleaded guilty to an offence under consumer protection regulations after a garden renovation at a bungalow in Immingham.
North East Lincolnshire Council’s Trading Standards team prosecuted the builder after artificial grass he installed was deemed not fit for purpose.
A family had wanted him to install a safe play area along with an artificial lawn for their children to enjoy. But an expert witness said the artificial grass was not suitable for children to play on.
Large sections of the grass were not fastened down and long nails were just left sticking out along its edges.
Christopher Atkinson, 58, of Albery Way, New Waltham, pleaded guilty at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court on 19 March to a consumer protection offence.
He was working as JC Services when he was hired to renovate the garden in September 2018.
Atkinson was given a two-year conditional discharge. A conditional discharge means the offence is registered on a person’s criminal record and further action can be taken if further offences are committed within a time decided by the court (no more than three years). He was also ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £400 towards costs at the rate of £5 per week.
In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor said he money and health problems that had prevented him from completing the work.
Neil Clark, Strategic Lead for Regulation and Enforcement Services, said:
“This garden makeover was meant to provide a safe place for young children to play, but Atkinson’s poor work made it anything but.
“When tradespeople finish jobs below acceptable standards, it reflects badly on others in the same line of work.
“This was a lengthy investigation, but our Trading Standards officers eventually secured a conviction.”