Tradie pockets client’s $2000+ deposit before closing shop
A MAN whose business crumbled has pocketed more than $2000 of a prospective client's money, without completing the work he agreed to do.
A 68-year-old woman noticed David Hourigan's ad on Gumtree, which offered repair services.
Gatton Magistrates Court heard the woman called Hourigan in December to arrange to have part of her property fixed.
"The defendant has attended the complainant's address and quoted the complainant approximately $2254 for the repair work to be conducted," Police prosecutor Sergeant Alister Windsor said.
"This was agreed to and the quote was signed off on that day - the complainant has transferred the full amount."
The pair agreed the work would be completed on January 7, 2020, but when the date came and passed, Hourigan didn't show up.
"The complainant made a number of attempts to contact him by phone and email but, only a week later, she was able to contact him about his non attendance," Sgt Windsor said.
"He said his business had ceased trading and that would attest to his inability to refund the money and inability to carry out the work."
Police went to Hourigan's home on March 10, where he admitted he had received the money but had spent it on business expenses.
"Prior to carrying out the work, the business had been wrapped up," Sgt Windsor said.
"(He said) he wasn't in a position to return that money."
In court, Hourigan told Magistrate Kay Ryan he had "overextended".
"I tried to do too much," Hourigan said.
He told Ms Ryan he had taken out his super and was waiting for it to clear into his account.
"I should have that on Wednesday or Thursday, so I can pay her back the full amount," he said.
The court heard Hourigan had no criminal history.
He pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud and was ordered to pay restitution of $2254 and a $500 fine.
No conviction was recorded.
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