A ROGUE tradesman has been given a suspended sentence and ordered to pay £1,200 after leaving customers with unfinished driveways.

Howard Joseph Foster, aged 53, of Halton Street, Bolton was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to 12 offences. The three most serious were for aggressive and misleading sales practices.

The other offences related to failing provide his name and address and give information about rights to cancel.

Judge Graeme Smith gave Foster a 12-week prison sentence suspended for two years, ordering him to complete 120 hours unpaid community work and attend a rehabilitation course for 10 days. Foster must also pay £850 to his victims and a further £350 in costs. The money will be paid in monthly instalments of £100.

Victim Elsie Derbyshire will receive £300 of the £850.

Mrs Derbyshire, aged 79, of Skipton Street, Tonge Fold was left without a driveway and a front step up to her home after she hired Foster to flag her driveway.

Judge Smith said: “It is quite clear it was a very stressful experience for the victims and they must have felt under considerable pressure and Elsie Derbyshire was left in a position where she had incomplete work on her driveway and no step to her door.”

Judge Smith said to Foster: “You need to understand how difficult and stressful it was to those people.”

Foster was investigated by Bolton Council Trading Standards more than a year ago after the offences occurred in July and August, 2015.

Cllr Nicholas Peel, executive council member for environmental services, said: “Bolton’s Trading Standards service will always take action where the vulnerable are victimised.

“This should serve as a warning to any rogue trader who is thinking of targeting elderly residents. We’d like to thank the elderly victims who were prepared to come forward and give evidence, as without them, we may not have secured a conviction.”