Family counts cost after tarmac scam

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A man who was duped into having his tarmac driveway ‘sealed’ has been left with a £3,000 bill to have it repaired.

The Portadown resident, who does not wish to be named, agreed to have the work done at his home in the Mahon Road area, after a “very respectable, well groomed man” called at the door.

However, the sealant turned out to be oil and has never dried out properly, leaving the driveway in a mess, especially when it rains.

The family has had to resort to putting cardboard down on the drive and taking their shoes off at the front door to prevent the oil being carried into the house.

The man, who has two young children, is speaking out to warn other people after he was told by police that a 94-year-old woman had also been conned, apparently by the same man.

And he has reported the incident to police and Trading Standards.

He said, “I am usually very careful. Normally, I would chase someone trying to sell me something on the doorstep but the digital images he had with him were really good.

“It is not long since my father’s death and I think he got me at a vulnerable time.”

The caller identified himself as John Kennedy from a company in Glengormley - a business which the local man subsequently discovered did not exist.

He said, “He had a southern accent but said he had lived in Glengormley for 20 years. He told me about his children getting married and everything. I even gave him something to eat!

“He said they were working up in Rose Cottages that day and I have a friend who lives there so I took a drive up to have a look before he started work. There was nobody there but I thought they had finished for the day.

“I did wonder if it was dodgy but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.”

He added, “I was even there when he was doing the drive and I asked him if it was the right stuff because it smelt oily, and he reassured me it was.”

When the surface failed to dry as promised, the local man threatened to call in the police and the man gave him £300 of his £400 back. He is still waiting for the remaining £100 and has been given a quote of almost £3,000 to have the driveway repaired - “money I don’t have”.

PSNI Crime Prevention officer Michelle Wilson urged householders to be vigilant and advised anyone having work carried out at their home to get quotes from at least three different reputable companies.