Rogue Darwen builder jailed after fleecing victims out of £38k

Published Thursday 11 January 2018 at 13:28

A ROGUE builder has been sentenced to 19 months imprisonment following a successful prosecution by Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Trading Standards.

Derek Alan Bradshaw, 55, who has previous convictions for similar crimes, operated from addresses in Cavendish Street, Darwen and Albert Street, Bolton.

The prosecution was brought by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Trading Standards for  three counts of fraudulent trading under section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 – one of which was  committed whilst he was on bail awaiting trial for similar offences.

The case was heard last month at Preston Crown Court.

The prosecution case in relation the first two counts against Bradshaw was that he took payments from two victims totalling £38,000 before he completed the works but then failed to complete them, leaving one premise in a dangerous condition and the other uninhabitable.

The court was informed that the first victim paid Bradshaw £20,000 to do extensive work to a shop premise in Darwen. He then demolished the extension at the back of the shop leaving all the debris and bricks in the footings, erected scaffolding to the front and did a small amount of work on the roof, but then did nothing else, leaving the shop in a dangerous condition.

The second victim borrowed £18,000 for extensive work to their ‘forever home’, which was never completed. Bradshaw failed to deliver and install windows, doors, patio doors, flooring and a bathroom.

The court was told the family were left “virtually homeless” as he left the house uninhabitable and that the family had been left completely devastated. He was sentenced to 19 months and 18 months  for each account to be served concurrently.

For the third count against him the Court was informed that Bradshaw failed to pay a roofing contractor to whom he had subcontracted some roofing work. He had given the roofer three cheques in order to try to pay a debt of £1500 to him on sequential dates, all of which were dishonoured.  For this he was sentenced to an additional 12 months to be served concurrently.

Upon sentencing him, the Judge, his Honour Recorder M Hussain QC, said:

The family say you destroyed their present and their future and this was very bad on a personal level for them.

The judge ordered him to serve a total prison sentence of 19 months – for the three separate counts to run concurrently.

Speaking after the hearing, Cllr Jim Smith, Executive Member for Environment, said:

To have committed these offences whilst already on bail shows his contempt both for the law and his victims. These fraudulent acts have had deep and devastating impacts on those innocent people he preyed on. I hope this prosecution goes someway to helping the victims know that he hasn’t got away lightly with what he has done.

The advice is, never employ someone who just knocks on your door – get several quotes in writing.

And don’t ever pay up front, always get an invoice and choose a builder from a recognised scheme – such as the Safe Trader scheme run by Lancashire County Council, check a trade or from a professional body such as the Guild of Master Builders/Craftsman.

Our dedicated Trading Standards officers do everything they can to stop rogue traders who prey on residents but I would always advise people to be on their guard when employing someone to do work on their homes.

Bradshaw was previously prosecuted by Blackburn with Darwen Trading Standards in 2015 and was jailed for 27 months for fraudulent trading and trading whilst insolvent and committed these further 3 offences whilst on bail awaiting sentence.

He goes by several aliases including the names Brad and Dex.

The trial was fixed to run for 5 days commencing on 6 November 2017. The defendant maintained a plea of not guilty until the first day of trial when he changed his plea to guilty.

An order for costs or compensation was not made as he was deemed to be without funds on account of the prison sentence.

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