A Braunstone builder has been jailed for four years for fraudulent trading, following an eight-day trial at Leicester Crown Court.
Roy Davis, 47, of Kingsway North, Braunstone, had previously served an 18-month sentence for breaching consumer protection regulations, and immediately on his release from prison in 2018, he advertised on social media a “personalised service whilst creating beautiful homes and we remain on call for all of our customers”.
Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards Service investigated several jobs which all involved Davis taking payments upfront and leaving the householder with shoddy and unfinished work.
Davis appeared before Leicester Crown Court where he pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud and one of participating in a fraudulent business.
The court heard that one incident involved a house refurbishment for which Davis obtained £36,000 from the victim before completion of the work. An independent expert described Davis’s work as substandard and unsafe, concluding the work could be “no more than £6,000 worth but no tradesman would want to put their name to it without starting the job again.”
Defending Davis, defence counsel Richard Gibbs said his client was not dishonest, but was a very disorganised man who was unable to manage his workload.
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.
The judge 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, His Honour Judge Robert 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 said: “By pretending to be a genuine builder, 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.”