A builder from Leicestershire has been handed a four-year prison sentence after being found guilty of fraud offences.
Roy Davis (47) of Braunstone was investigated by Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards following complaints that he had taken upfront payments for work that was left unfinished or was poorly carried out.
Davis, who had previously served an 18-month sentence for breaching consumer protection regulations, pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud and one of participating in a fraudulent business.
However, the court heard that in one incident Davis had obtained £36,000 for a house refurbishment work which an independent expert described as “substandard and unsafe”, concluding it was worth “no more than £6,000, but no tradesman would want to put their name to it without starting the job again.”
Davis was sentenced to four years imprisonment, with two years to be served in prison and two years on licence. He was also given a Criminal Behaviour Order, which means he must not work as a builder or related tradesman while operating his own company, or advertise his services as a builder or tradesman, until the order is lifted.
Judge Robert Brown also made an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and set a timetable for confiscation proceedings to recover any criminal benefit obtained by Davis.
Passing sentence, Brown said Davis had not learned anything from his previous conviction and jail term, and refused to recognise the harm and misery he had caused to his customers. He told Davis: “You are not a genuine builder, you are a fraudster, and the public need protecting from you. I am quite satisfied that there can be no other sentence, other than custody.”
Following the sentencing, Head of Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards Service, Gary Connors, said: “Householders invest their savings or take out loans to upgrade their homes. When it all goes wrong, it not only impacts consumers financially, but it causes immense stress and anxiety.
“The outcome of this case should send a clear message to those unscrupulous traders who are under the misapprehension that they will no longer appear on the enforcement radar after receiving a previous caution or a conviction. When necessary, we will not hesitate to deploy further resources to tackle the persistent offender to protect consumers and the reputable building trade.
We welcome the issue of a Criminal Behaviour Order, which will enable us to take swift action should he breach the requirements on being released from custody.”