Leeds single mum paid landscaper £4k for new garden - but says he never did the work

A single mum-of-four says she lost almost £4,000 to a landscaper after he allegedly demanded money up front and didn't carry out the work.

Jordan Meakin was hired by Sohal Navdeep in August 2023 to transform the front and back garden of her property to enable her four children to have an outdoor place to play.

Sohal, 42, from Kirkstall, Leeds, works two jobs and says it took her over a year to save up the money to be able to afford the home renovations she longed for.

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The mum says she found Meakin's company on Facebook and organised for him to come and give her a quote. She said he arrived and gave her a quote of £2200 for the back garden initially and another £2700 for the front garden.

Sohal says Meakin asked for the money up front via bank transfer of the full amount of £2200 for the back garden and a deposit of £1600 for the front garden, which he said was for the materials. She says the landscaper also told her to hire a skip, which cost her another £250 and ultimately was never used.

She claims that Meakin showed her pictures on his phone and designed the garden in front of her, she said he even promised her a free swing for the children and initially she thought it was a dream come true and was so excited for her garden.

Sohal said: "I found Jordan Meakin on Facebook, he said he could do the garden, he came to my house in August 2023 to do the quotation, he said it would be £2200 for the back garden and £2700 for the front garden, I even said that's very cheap, I said I was happy with the price and I wanted to go ahead with it.

"He said he would do the back garden first and then would do the front, I said ok that's fine, he said he needed the full money for the back garden up front, which was £2200 and he needed £1600 up front for the front garden, to which I agreed.

"He designed the full garden in front of me there and then, he was showing me pictures on his phone, I don't have any previous experience with tradesmen, I have never had anything done before so I had no reason not to believe him. He even told me he would give me a free swing for my kids, I was so happy I was so excited for my children.

"He put me under pressure to transfer the money there and then when he was there, he said he was going to order the materials straight away. He said 'I won't bother you and your lovely kids any longer, I will go and order the materials in my van', I noticed when he left that he wasn't in a van he was in a car and I did find that strange."

Sohal continued: "He later returned with about ten flags and put them down, the work was unsatisfactory, very unprofessional, he did nothing he said he was going to do. After that he never came back, he asked me to hire a skip, which cost me another £250, and it remained empty, so that money was wasted as well.

"I've messaged him and he just keeps saying he will do the work next month, next month, next month all the time - it has been almost a year and I still don't have my garden.

"I said to him 'Jordan if you can't do it, just give me my money back', he said he can't refund money, he has paid for the materials but he hasn't, the ten flags he threw down in the garden must have cost nothing more than a couple of hundred pounds and I could have done it myself. Where is the rest of my money?

"It's been an absolute nightmare, I am so depressed, I work so hard, I have two jobs, it took me a year to save up that money, the garden is still not done and I can't afford to pay for it again, it's so unfair.

"My whole family are very distressed, I've been in tears, the kids have been affected, they have no garden to play in now, it's just mud, the money spent I could have taken them on holiday, now I can't do that, I've had my kids saying 'don't cry mum we don't even like to play', but of course they do , they are children."

Since then, Sohal has been contacting other customers of Jordan Meakin's on social media to try and find out if this has happened to anyone else.

She said: "I contacted a lawyer but I can't afford the fees I've already lost so much, I just don't want anyone else to go through what I have been through, I have been contacting people who like his posts to warn them."

Another person who claims to have lost cash to Jordan Meakin is Paul Howes, a 25-year-old engineer, also from Leeds.

Paul has a very similar account to Sohal, he says he found Jordan on Facebook earlier this year when he needed some help completing his garden renovation project, he got in touch with Jordan and arranged for him to come round and give him a quote.

Paul says Jordan visited his home on May 10 and gave him a quote for the work required, he said he came across as really professional and much like with Sohal, he was showing him pictures on his phone of his work and even of his own home.

The dad-of-two said Jordan asked him for £1200 up front for materials and said he would return the following week to carry out the work but never did.

Paul says he was also faced with multiple excuses as to why Jordan couldn't do the work promised but it wasn't until he received a message on Instagram from Sohal that he realised he had lost out.

He said: "I found Jordan on Facebook, I'm in the middle of doing my garden up and I've been doing a lot of it myself but I got the the point where I needed a bit of help.

"I messaged him and arranged for him to come and give me a quote, he came on Friday, May, 10 for a visit, it was around 8.30pm, he came across as a professional and seemed to know what he was talking about.

"He was showing me pictures on his phone of other jobs he's done, I know quite a bit about landscaping so I had some knowledge and what he was saying seemed to be legit, I'm a bit wary anyway, because I've been done in the past but he seemed pretty genuine, he was even showing me pictures of his own house.

"He asked for the money to cover material up front so I transferred him £1200 and he agreed to come back and do the work, from there he just made excuse after excuse as to why he couldn't do it. It was everything from his car being broken down to he was on holiday, he was in hospital.

"I started to worry a bit but it wasn't until I received a message from a woman named Sohal on Instagram warning me not to use him and telling me he had taken almost £4,000 her that I realised I had been ripped off.

"From here I started to do some research into him and found that he has actually been to prison before for fraud and the penny just dropped, I was actually impressed with how genuine he came across, I literally said to my partner, 'if he is a scammer he's a very good one', he's obviously very good at what he does.

"I now have to do my garden myself, £1200 is a big chunk of money that could have gone towards materials and paying somebody else to help.

"I have now started messaging other people myself from his Instagram account. I've accepted I'm probably not going to get my money back but even if it stops one more person being scammed."

Jordan Meakin said the claims from the two complainants were "absolute nonsense". Speaking to Yorkshire Live, he said: "All customers have been kept in the loop about our delays due to unforeseen circumstances and all the bad weather, some are happy and patient, some are demanding refunds.

"Either way I am in hospital, I had my gallbladder out on Tuesday, no one has been ripped off, I have been busy and I have issues causing delays, it's not crime."

In response to Sohal's claims, Jordan said: "Sohal had her back garden done for £3800, she paid me in full then asked me to come back to do the front a few weeks later. We turned up several times coming from Manchester, costing me a lot of money, and there were skips left on the drive from other builders, which caused me so many delays where we could have been working for someone somewhere else, so in the end I told her to get someone else to do it as I was sick of her messing me about. She never paid me a penny for the front at all."

Mr Meakin has been previously imprisoned after he posed as a former Blackburn Rovers footballer’s wife to fraudulently sell a £7,500 Rolex watch on eBay he never owned, according to The Lancashire Telegraph.

In March 2019, Burnley Crown Court heard Jordan Meakin had previously legitimately sold a Rolex watch formerly belonging to Leanne Brown, wife of ex-Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United defender Wes Brown, to victim Kevin Robins.

The court was told Meakin, 35, tried to repeat the trick but this time with a watch which had no link to Mrs Brown, star of the Real Housewives Of Cheshire TV show.

Meakin tried to fool both Mr Robins and Royal Mail by sending an empty Rolex box in a loosely sealed parcel by special delivery. He also once defrauded the Halifax Bank out of thousands of pounds by stating his account had been hacked in Thailand and thenand tried to claim a £2,500 insurance payout from the Royal Mail over the ‘lost watch’.

He was jailed for 16 months and ordered him to pay £900 compensation, with the remaining £6,950 paid on his release.

Meakin says he has since turned his life around, he is now married and has two children and he runs a "legitimate" landscaping company, he says he has struggled with "impatient customers" due to ongoing personal issues.

Asked about his previous convictions, Jordan Meakin said: "Previous past convictions mean absolutely nothing, this is all in my past before I was married with children and now I am a 100% legitimate business man."