Sunday 27 May 2018

Plumber never finished job after getting customer to pay up front

Gary Kett from Drimnagh got 150 hours’ community service
Gary Kett from Drimnagh got 150 hours’ community service

A plumber has admitted deceiving a householder into paying for bathroom work at his home that was never carried out.

Gary Kett (34) took €310 from the victim for the job, then failed to do the work, a court heard.

A judge has ordered him to do 150 hours of community service to avoid a three-month jail sentence.

Kett, a father of three, pleaded guilty to dishonestly inducing the victim to make the payment by deception.


The incident happened at North Road, Finglas, on February 6, 2015.

Blanchardstown District Court heard Kett had called to the house to meet the victim to agree a price on a plumbing job in a bathroom.

They agreed on a price of €310, but on the day he was meant to carry out the work, Kett failed to show up.

The victim tried to contact him to say it had not been done and the work was not done to this date, the court was told.

The job had been paid for in advance.

An "unfortunate situation arose" and the accused was not in a position to repay the victim, his solicitor John O'Doherty said.

He had been doing "a day's work here and there" and was desperately trying to obtain the funds.

Kett, from Slievemore Road, Drimnagh, gets €188 in social welfare payment per week and is supporting his wife and three children, Mr O'Doherty said.

Kett had previous convictions for motoring offences but had not been in trouble since 2003.

Judge McHugh asked if he was to "infer" that the defendant had in fact planned to do the work but did not.

Kett had been paid to buy equipment and "between the jigs and the reels" the customer changed his mind about what was bought.

"There was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing and Mr Kett lost patience with the job," Mr Doherty said.

He was unable to bring the items he had bought back.

The court heard Kett had worked as a plumber in the past and never had any difficulties.


Judge McHugh said the evidence he had heard was "more in the nature of a civil debt rather than a criminal matter".

Mr O'Doherty replied that the full facts had been put to Kett and he had been happy to deal with the case on that basis.

"He told the injured party he had underpriced the job and was not going to do it," Garda Sergeant Mary Doherty said.

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