Suspended jail term and £250 fine for rogue Killyleagh builder
A rogue builder handed a suspended sentence for failing to produce the materials his clients had paid for had been "stringing them along with false promises," according to Trading Standards Services (TSS).
James Gordon of Grove Gardens in Killyleagh was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for three years, at the close of a case brought by Trading Standards.
He had been paid to build an extension at a property in Lower Ballinderry in Co Antrim over a period of three months.
But after 17 months the job was still "substantially unfinished" with windows left unfitted - even though Gordon had been paid most of the agreed price.
He had also been given £850 to buy roof tiles which were not supplied, leaving the roof unprotected over winter.
Kevin McNamara of TSS said: "Looking at this case, it appears Mr Gordon's main concern was to get as much money up front as he could and in order to do this he kept stringing his clients along with false promises about the supply of materials and completion dates for the job."
An independent report by TSS estimated that it was going to take just over £19,000 to finish the job - and eventually the homeowners had to hire someone else to finish the work.
Mr McNamara said: "The victims in this case suffered a great deal of financial and emotional stress as a result of Mr Gordon's actions."
Gordon had already pleaded guilty to charges under the Fraud Act and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. He had to pay £2,350 in compensation and a fine of £250.