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Warning after tree surgeons convicted

By Yorkshire Post, on 30 November 2011

Stenie Wilson and Frank Foy Lowther, both of Long Street, Thirsk, were found guilty yesterday at York Crown Court of two offences of engaging in aggressive trading practices.

The prosecution was brought by North Yorkshire County Council’s trading standards officers, and a warning has been issued that a tough stance will be adopted against any other rogue traders.

The council’s executive member for trading standards, Coun Chris Metcalfe, said: “These are not the acts of genuine traders and these aggressive and intimidating trading practices will not be tolerated in North Yorkshire.”

The court heard Lowther and Wilson knocked at the door of a Scarborough resident in November last year, offering to provide a written quote for gardening work.

The man, who had just finished a night shift, agreed and closed the door to return to sleep.

When he heard a noise like a chainsaw several minutes later, he got up to investigate to find the two men in his rear garden chopping down trees.

Despite not having the work authorised, Lowther insisted they should be paid £1,800. The two men went with the victim to the bank, where he withdrew £750. They then told him they would return for the rest of the money.

The victim reported the matter to North Yorkshire Police officers, who then informed the council’s trading standards department.

Three days later, the traders returned to the property, and while the victim did not answer the door, he went to report the matter again to the police. As he returned to his car, the victim was once again approached by the rogue traders. He then reported the men to the police for a third time.

Both men were ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, and each was ordered to pay £375 compensation to the victim

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