Flintshire 'cowboy' builder defrauded doctor over roofing job

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A BUILDER has been given a suspended prison sentence after he grossly overcharged a doctor for a roofing job and gave him false details.

The victim spotted the builder working on another property and was able to tell Trading Standards officers who charged Phillip Smith, 29, with fraud, doing work to a very poor standards and giving misleading details.

Smith, of Rhostrehwfa, Anglesey, admitted three charges and received a suspended prison sentence at Mold Crown Court yesterday.

Judge Paul Thomas told Smith there were very many good and honest builders around. “Unfortunately there are others like you who are rightly called cowboys.”

To make matters worse, it was not the first time he had done something of that nature because he had been prosecuted three years ago for giving misleading details in respect of two properties in Cheshire.

Smith, who had called himself Phillip Jones and produced a letterheading for a fictitious building company boasting a five year guarantee, received a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and he was ordered to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £500 costs to the prosecution.

Chris Moss, prosecuting for Flintshire Council’s Trading Standards Department, said Dr William Jones, of Ffordd Pentre, Nercwys, near Mold, received a letter from Smith calling himself Phillip Jones and giving details of what turned out to be a fictitious company.

Smith was working on a house next door, the note said, and he had noted a problem with his roof.

Smith charged him £11,500 for work which should have been valued at about £3,250 and it was of such a poor standard that it leaked and in fact the roof had been damaged.

He was unable to contact Smith but when the doctor returned to his other house in Anglesey he saw Smith working on a property there.

Owen Carville, defending, said Smith was not the main mover, but a sub contractor.

He had given false details but he had given his correct mobile number, the correct number was on his van, and he said that he had chatted to the customer about where he lived in Anglesey, because they had property in neighbouring villages.

Smith had also given his correct details when he gave the customer his bank details.

It was not the case of a cowboy builder leaving a customer high and dry with no means of tracing him, he said.

The work had since been carried out at his own expense to a satisfactory standard.

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