Unlicensed landscaper jailed for 18 months

An unlicensed and uninsured landscaper, who received more than $140,000 for work he didn’t complete, has been sentenced to a maximum of 18 months prison.

Repeat offender Peter Todd Hynes, also known as Peter Todd Garay, was convicted at Parramatta Local Court on 22 August 2019 after pleading guilty to 15 charges under the Home Building Act and the Australian Consumer Law.

Hynes was sentenced to a maximum of 18 months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 6 months.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb said Hynes, the sole director of Captain Trade Group Pty Ltd, accepted payments totalling $141,500 from five homeowners in 2017, for landscaping work which he did not complete and was uninsured for at the time.

“The court was told that in one of the offences in Harrington Park, the company accepted $60,000 and failed to provide the goods and services within a reasonable time.

“Neither he nor his company held a contractor licence or insurance under the Home Building Act,” Ms Webb said.

To obtain work, Hynes knocked on the doors of homeowners and in some cases claimed he had 40 people working for him.

Mr Hynes has been known to Fair Trading for some time and was the subject of seven enforcement actions between 2003 and 2015.

“Hynes, who also went by the name Peter Todd Garay, has previous convictions for dishonesty and repeated building compliance offences,” Ms Webb said.

Fair Trading is reminding consumers who are considering using a building contractor or tradesperson for services such as landscaping, to check that the trader holds a valid license before engaging them.

Visit Fair Trading for more information on conducting license checks:                                                          
https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/help-centre/online-tools/home-building-licence-check 

Mr Hynes has lodged an appeal. The appeal is listed for 12 September 2019 in the District Court.

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