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A "rogue" landscaper who conned two householders out of thousands of pounds for work that was never finished called the judge a "muppet" as he was led away after being jailed.
Patrick Brien vanished on unwitting customers, taking their money and leaving their gardens a mess, reports the Manchester Evening News.
The 46-year-old, who a court heard has a long criminal record with more than 50 offences including a rape conviction, lashed out at a judge as he was sent down.
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Brien called him a "muppet", an "a***" and vowed not to pay the compensation as he had been ordered to shell out.
The court heard previously that a woman from Salford contacted Brien’s company, Acorn Landscapes Paving and Fencing on October 14, 2019.
She was quoted £1,650 to remove and take away her old driveway and lay block paving and was told the job would be finished in 10 days.
After a series of demands, the price rose to £2,900 and the woman had to take out a loan to pay the rogue trader.
The victim paid £1,000 into the defendants sister Katrina O’Brien’s bank account, saying she would pay the remaining balance when the job was completed But, neither Brien nor any workmen turned up for nine days.
He told the woman to “stop rushing them” when she messaged to find out when the work would be finished.
He and his team of crooked workers, who also demanded money from the defendant, went totally AWOL after the woman called police and trading standards.
His second victim, from Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, contacted Brien's firm on December 9, 2019, about block paving his back garden before Christmas.
He was quoted £3,000 for the work which it was said would take a week. Some work was done and the customer paid £1,900 in total.
The work team went to the property once more for about an hour on January 7 and after this they did not return, and messages went unanswered from January 23 onwards.
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Brien, of Rosette Walk, Swinton, was convicted after trial of four counts of fraud and three offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, two relating to professional diligence and one to misleading action.
The court heard he has 32 convictions for 56 offences including one for rape, and a number for dishonesty and violence.
He said he had "taken too much on" and admitted the customers had "suffered" as he had "left them in the dark with no communication" but said he had tried to rectify that.
He was also ordered to pay compensation order of £2,126 to one victim and £526 to the other. As he was led away Brien said to the judge "You muppet. I'm not paying you nothing. I'm not paying s***. A*****."
Brien's sister Katrina O'Brien, whose account some of the money was paid into, was convicted of two offences of money laundering and was handed a community order.
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