Dorset-based builder prosecuted for fraud

A Dorset-based builder has been found guilty of four counts of fraud, in relation to building works, at Poole Magistrates Court on 23 October 2017.

Sean Hughes, of 25 Bachelor Road, Bournemouth, carried out works on the property of an 80-year-old Poole resident in December 2014. Mr Hughes demanded a total of £4,000 for the building works, after initially agreeing a total of £250 for repair works.

Sean Hughes also carried out unnecessary work by fitting a new lintel and stated that underpinning was required to the entire property. Underpinning requires close monitoring of a building, over a period of 6 months to a year, to demonstrate on-going movement. Mr Hughes carried out building work over the course of a week.

The cost of the all building works which were undertaken by Mr Hughes, including those deemed unnecessary, should have totalled no more than £1,115, according to a chartered surveyor.

During the course of the building works, Mr Hughes presented the property-owner with an invoice, under the trading name of ‘South Coat Building’, stating that all works were guaranteed under the ‘Building Regulations Act 2006’. This was found to be false representation, as there is no Building Regulations Act 2006.

Sean Hughes pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was ordered to pay £2,895 compensation to the homeowner, by way of a compensation order.

Borough of Poole Trading Standards wish to thank the homeowner for attending court and giving evidence, and urge all residents to not speak to cold callers offering work, and to find reputable, vetted traders through the approved Buy With Confidence scheme.

James Norman, Regulatory Team Manager, Borough of Poole, said: “This is a clear case of a trader willing to exploit the trust of a customer for his own profit. Borough of Poole Trading Standards will use every means possible to bring to justice traders who mislead or exploit their customers.”

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