A FRAUDSTER who targeted people across the county by providing fake cleaning services is behind bars.

Christopher Maughan cold-called homes in Fareham, Sarisbury Green, Chandler’s Ford and Stubbington, claiming to be working on the homeowner’s neighbour’s property.

The 33-year-old would offer to clean the resident’s driveway or carry out a demonstration of the cleaning.

When the residents refused, he would clean a prominent section of driveway without permission. This tactic was in order to persuade the residents to have the rest of their driveway cleaned and make a payment to the conman.

Maughan, formerly of Carousel Park, Micheldever, was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment at Southampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to eight charges of fraud.

He was also made subject to a four year Criminal Behaviour Order, preventing him from cold calling, making false claims or carrying out any work without a homeowner’s written permission.

The investigation into Maughan’s offending, which took place in 2017, was led by Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards team.

Following complaints from residents, and information from Hampshire Constabulary, Trading Standards Officers investigated the cold-caller, eventually bringing him to court.

Cllr Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “This is an extremely positive result for our Trading Standards Service and shows that through the use of our dedicated investigative skills and the help of the public, who report these crimes, we can ensure that people who engage in fraudulent activity are prosecuted.”

Trading Standards advises residents not to agree to any work based on a stranger calling at the door. Residents should obtain at least three written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are members of the county council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme.