A BUILDER charged a doctor more than £37,000 for renovation works that turned out to be “worthless”.
Martin Bennison, 53, left Dr Jitendra Patel’s house in chaos while he prepared for the wedding of his daughter, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Bennison had been given the job of overseeing an extension and other renovations to Dr Jitendra Patel’s five-bed roomWolviston home.
But he overcharged the Patel family by almost £30,000 for work which was not done and materials that did not turn up.
Bennison failed to deliver on his promise to Dr Patel that all the work would be finished by April 15 last year as Dr Patel’s daughter was getting married and guests would be arriving.
By March little had been done despite Dr Patel paying a 50 per cent deposit and writing Bennison a cheque for £13,500.
He also caused a major water leak by accidentally damaging a water pipe while renovating a bathroom.
And Bennison failed to tell Dr Patel that his business went bust during the project.
When materials the family had paid for failed to turn up they challenged Bennison where the money had gone.
Most of it was swallowed up by his ailing business, the court heard.
Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said: “Although the work carried out would value £8,000 the work was worthless because of the state of the property.”
Mr Patel, 67, of Seaton Carew Surgery, said: “It was a nightmare. The whole house was full of dust we had to have dehumidifiers running 24 hours a day.”
Bennison had known the Patel family for around 20 years and he had built Dr Patel’s five-bedroom home in Wolviston and done work on his surgery in 2006.
Dr Patel was happy with the work and approached Bennison in August 2011 about building a rear home extension, provide electric gates and garage doors.
Bennison admitted eight offences contrary to consumer protection and fair trade regulations.
Ian Mullarkey, mitigating, said a combination of Bennison’s personal and money problems was to blame adding: “He regrets it deeply although that will be of little comfort to the Patel family.”
Bennison, of Martin Grove, Hartlepool, was given six months’ prison suspended for two years and 300 hours unpaid work.