Home improvement firm boss spared jail after £18,000 fraud

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A building firm boss has been ordered to repay more than £18,000 he defrauded from customers.

Andrew Dack, 37, admitted 18 charges of fraud relating to Improve It UK (Home Improvements Ltd) of which he was a director.

Teesside Crown Court heard four victims lost out by a total of £18,800 due to unfinished and shoddy work.

In one case a customer from Durham paid £9,800 for work to their patio and garden.

Penny Bottomley, prosecuting, said: “There was a degree of overcharging and work was not carried out to a satisfactory standard.

“Trading Standards conducted an investigation and a survey done estimated it would be around £20,000 for remedial work.”

The court previously heard that Dack, of Rydal Avenue, Billingham, lied to customers that their new driveways would be reinforced with steel, and others were not finished.

A number of the charges related to not giving customers cooling off periods allowing them to back out of sales, and knowingly or recklessly claiming to provide customers with an after-sales service.

The court heard Dack set up the business after separating from his wife and he accepted not putting his best efforts into it. The court heard £20,000 was also stolen from the business which is no longer operating.

Kelly Lodge, mitigating, said: “He is genuinely sorry for the circumstances and inconvenience caused to the victims in these cases and can’t stress that enough.”

The judge, Recorder William Lowe QC said prison would rule out Dack being able to pay compensation to the victims.

He is to repay the money at £200 a month. He was given 12-months prison suspended for a year, a six-month tagged curfew and unpaid work.