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Belfast man denies cowboy builder charges


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Sunday Life's Chris Woodhouse speaks with Noel Parker at a property off the Shore Road in north Belfast. (Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX)

Sunday Life's Chris Woodhouse speaks with Noel Parker at a property off the Shore Road in north Belfast. (Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX)

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Sunday Life's Chris Woodhouse speaks with Noel Parker at a property off the Shore Road in north Belfast. (Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX)

This is the alleged cowboy builder accused of trashing a woman's garden and driveway.

Belfast builder Noel Parker is facing a raft of charges including theft, fraud and engaging in misleading and aggressive commercial practices.

Newtownabbey woman Madeline Conn says she's facing a bill of between £6,000 and £7,000 to repair her driveway after he left it a mess.

Parker is also accused of conning a second woman out of £13,000 for building work.

Madeline Conn says she spent most of her savings and even cashed in a small pension to pay for the work by Parker.

But she says he left the job unfinished amid a litany of excuses after taking more than £4,000 from her.

Parker is now due to contest 11 charges of theft, fraud and offences under the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations in relation to Madeline and another woman he allegedly cheated.

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Madeline Conn spent £4000 to get her driveway flagged.. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 27-02-2020

Madeline Conn spent £4000 to get her driveway flagged.. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 27-02-2020

Madeline Conn spent £4000 to get her driveway flagged.. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 27-02-2020

Madeline says she agreed to pay him £7,500 to lift grass and pave her driveway but says he used unsuitable tiles, didn't allow for drainage and removed her front gates without permission.

"The front was a garden and you could park one car. Out the back was half grass and half stones.

"With my dogs I thought I would get it all paved and I Googled pavers and phoned a lot of people.

"Some came out, some didn't bother, but he was the only one who came out and gave me a price to do the front, side and back.

"Initially it was £9,000 but I said no and then he said £7,500 and I said I could do that."

Parker started work at her Rathcoole home in October 2017 but she says he began making excuses and by November her front and back garden were a mess with unfinished work.

"At the start he came and dug everything up and he said no money up front. But after that he said his card wasn't working and could I give him some money," she said.

"I gave him £1,000 and then he just stalked me for money. It was coming up to Christmas and I panicked and I thought I was going to be left like this so I kept giving him more money.

"I saw nothing was happening and he made excuses why he wasn't here.

"He took my garden gates away and it was actually the police who brought them back.

"He left the skip out the front and I had to phone the skip people to come out and take it away."

Madeline says she confronted Parker at his home and asked for her money back but he said he didn't have it.

She then decided to pursue him through the small claims court where a judge found in her favour in March 2018 and awarded her the maximum of £3,000.

"I thought I'll write off £1,500 and the judge that day said he had no hesitation in awarding me the maximum sum of the court.

"But I can't get the money off him," she said. While that was ongoing, the police had been in touch and an investigation was launched with Parker eventually charged.

He is due to contest those charges at Belfast Magistrates Court on March 23.

Parker faces 11 charges, including two charges of stealing wrought iron gates and a garden fence.

He faces four counts of engaging in misleading commercial practice; two of fraud by misrepresentation and one of engaging in an aggressive commercial practice and two of fraud by false representation.

As well as Madeline, north Belfast resident Parker is also accused of dishonestly making false representation by quoting a price to a Chinese woman of £13,000 for work.

Madeline says she is now faced with a hefty bill to fix her driveway. She says her patio tiles have to come up because Parker didn't dig it for drainage. When Sunday Life asked Parker about the case, he declined to comment.

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