Tradies ‘smash up’ driveway after homeowner refuses to pay

By Jarrod
4 Min Read

One Queensland woman has seen her freshly-poured concrete driveway smashed to bits after she refused to pay the tradies for their work.

The man behind the hammer was Logan tradie Jesse Crowe, along with his team after they’d worked to lay a new driveway for the woman.

Crowe said he had negotiated a price with the homeowner, Viola, of $6000 for the job, which also involved creating a large concreted area attached to the side of the home.

Viola paid an initial $2,500 but allegedly refused to pay the remaining fee after getting into a dispute with Crowe over the quality of the work and removal of waste from the site. 

In an interview with 7News earlier this week, Viola said Crowe threatened her after she complained about the driveway.

“[They said] ‘you pay now, now or we will smash the concrete’,” she told reporters.

Viola also claimed she would have paid the workers, but they ‘refused to finish the job’.

“They did what they wanted, not what I wanted,” she said.

Realising that he wouldn’t be seeing the money he was owed, Crowe filmed the now infamous video showing ‘what happens when you don’t pay for works carried out at your place’.

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With his co-workers by his side, the video shows Crowe lifting a pickaxe over his head and burying it into the still-wet concrete slab. The team would repeat the move all the way up the driveway until it was riddled with uneven potholes. 

Behind the camera, the person filming the video could be heard saying: “You should have paid. And it’s going to cost more to get it all dug up, taken away and poured again.

“Didn’t want to pay? This is what happened.”

Crowe justified his actions to 7News, saying that he had been in the trade for a ‘long time’ and he was ‘tired of being ripped off”.

The concreter added that he ‘didn’t like destroying his work and asked: “They don’t want to pay, at the end of the day, what are you going to do?”

While the dispute happened late last year, the clip has divided Aussies on social media after being posted online a few days ago.

“The lady did the right thing,” one person commented on the Instagram video.

“This is totally wrong and unprofessional.”

“No finish, no cuts, still wet… the job is not even complete,” said another.

Others said the workers demanded payment too soon.

“I’m not paying until the cement sets and has no cracks,” one person said.

“It’s still fresh,” another person said.

“How soon do you expect to be paid? Seven days, 14 days after completion?

“Gotta see the concrete go off before you know if it’s worth paying for.”

And some stood with Crowe, saying the woman knew the consequences of refusing to pay.

“Everyone’s mad at the workers, but if the lady said she’s not paying, then she’s not going to pay you,” one person said.

“So you may as well not give her a free pad. Good job fellas.”

With both parties standing firm on payment, Viola and her family say they intend to fill the holes left by Crowe and his team themselves.

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By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.