TRADING standards bosses have welcomed the prosecution of a man who they say carried out unnecessary and overpriced work on a woman’s home.

Darrel Anthony Elswood, 36, from Bournemouth, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £4,200 in costs after admitting an offence of misleading a consumer under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

This is in addition to £6,898 compensation he had agreed to pay to three customers at an earlier hearing.

The prosecution was brought by Dorset County Council after investigation by the trading standards team.

Elswood was the director of Ferndown-based National Drainage Solutions Ltd, a firm that has since been struck off by Companies House.Trading Standards said the company had been undertaking drainage work in the village of Thornford in February 2016.

At one address the company had ‘cold called’ on a resident and although she was not aware of any issues with her drains she was persuaded that work was required.

She was eventually charged £5,712 which included £540 to replace a manhole cover.

Expert evidence showed that a reasonable total price would have been £1,440 and that not all of the work detailed in the invoices had been carried out.

Elswood pleaded guilty to the offence on the basis that it was attributable to his neglect as a director and Judge Johnson accepted this.

Sentencing, the judge said that in such cases the public were entitled to rely on accurate information from the company.

The victim said in her impact statement that the episode had left her feeling cross and that “I now don’t trust people as I once did.”

Richard Herringshaw, principal trading standards officer at DCC, said after the case: “I am pleased

with this result, especially for the three consumers that Elswood agreed to compensate. Traders who mislead consumers while carrying out work at their homes continues to be a problem and cause significant loss.

“We will continue to take action in appropriate cases.”