Tradie's jaw-dropping act after client allegedly refuses to pay: 'This is what happens'

The homeowner said she's been forced to leave with the damages for a year.

An exasperated tradie who claims his client failed to pay the agreed amount for a concreting job has smashed up the newly completed driveway, merely days after it was poured.

A bitter dispute has erupted between Queensland concreter Jesse Crowe — based in Logan — and homeowner Viola, with both parties refusing to budge on the agreed fee for the job. Crowe claims he had negotiated $6,000 for the driveway, of which he says Viola paid a $2,500 deposit.

Two images of Queensland tradie Jesse Crowe using a pickaxe to destroy a concrete driveway he had only just completed
Queensland tradie Jesse Crowe smashing a concrete driveway he had only just completed, after claiming his client refused to pay up. Source: Instagram.

Bitter dispute erupts between tradie, homeowner

But Viola alleges the pair agreed on $5,000 in total, claiming she already paid $3,000. She was unsatisfied with the finished product and claims extra fees had been hidden from her, though Crowe insists otherwise.

In a video that has now gone viral on social media, Crowe can be seen with another man smashing up Viola's driveway using pickaxes.

“This is what happens when you don’t want to pay for work carried out at your place,” Crowe can be heard saying in the video. “Should have paid,” the man filming then says. “Now it’s going to cost more to get it all dug up, taken away and poured again.”

Footage goes viral on social media

In the footage, Crowe and another man proceed to shatter the concrete slab. Crowe said he doesn't like "destroying something I've just built" — but wanted to send a message. “I don’t like destroying something I’ve just built,” he told 7 News. “I take pride in my work and I love concreting, and I love doing it.

A headshot of tradie Crowe with a frowning expression.
Crowe said homeowner Viola tried to pay him $1000 less than the agreed upon amount, a claim she disputes. Source: 7News.

“It comes to a point where you’re in the trade for a long time and you’re doing the right thing by people, and they don’t want to pay at the end of the day, so what are you gonna do? Didn’t want to pay, this is what happens.”

Homeowner claims she's lived with smashed-up driveway for a year

According to homeowner Viola, she claims she was threatened after complaining about the quality of the job, with the workers allegedly not laying mesh like she says she asked. In addition, the homeowner says she was never given a quote for additional rubbish removal fees and Crowe demanded he be paid in cash, refusing to give her a receipt.

“They tried to scare me,” she told 7News. “I was alone in the house [and] they knew I was alone. They say ‘you’re paying now... or we will smash the concrete.’”

Homeowner Viola speaking to camera (inset) and her damaged driveway, which has holes in it from the pickaxe.
Homeowner Viola and her damaged driveway, which she says she's lived with ever since the incident occurred last year. Source: 7News.

The Queenslander claimed the stress took such a toll on her, she "collapsed in a shopping centre two days later". “I was treated as a thief, as a crook... they did what they wanted, not what I wanted," she said.

The video of the incident took place last year, but was only posted online days ago. Viola and her family say they've lived with the damaged concrete ever since.

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