Billingham rogue trader jailed after conning Hartlepool victims out of tens of thousands of pounds

A company director who defrauded 16 householders with shoddy home improvement work has been jailed.
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Rebecca Wilson, 40, let Riverside Resin sign up homeowners before leaving them with poor, faulty, unfinished or non-existent work, costing victims at least £100,000.

When they complained they were ignored, dismissed or fobbed off with excuses or false promises between 2019 and 2021, Teesside Crown Court heard.

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Residents were promised improvements to driveways, paths, patios and garages.

A company director has been jailed at Teesside Crown after admitting 17 fraud charges and 15 unfair trading offences.A company director has been jailed at Teesside Crown after admitting 17 fraud charges and 15 unfair trading offences.
A company director has been jailed at Teesside Crown after admitting 17 fraud charges and 15 unfair trading offences.

Work by the Billingham-based firm ended up crooked, cracked, slippery, riddled with holes or “unusable”.

Hartlepool customers were among the victims to complain to trading standards officers.

Rebecca Brown, prosecuting for Stockton Council, said the customers’ total loss – including the thousands it would cost to put sub-standard work right – was estimated at almost £160,000.

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One Hartlepool victim who invested money from her late father ended up losing £47,660 and was left without emergency funds.

She said she could “feel the black clouds start to appear” whenever she looked at the faulty works.

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Another Hartlepool woman, who lost £12,600 after being “promised the earth”, broke down in the witness box and could not carry on.

She said: “Our lives have been hell.”

Wilson, of Anlaby Close, Billingham, admitted 17 counts of fraud and 15 of unfair trading.

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The court heard she had a previous conviction and suspended prison sentence for 10 similar unfair trading offences in 2017.

Robert Mochrie, mitigating for Wilson, said: “She wished through me to apologise to all of the customers or victims for her behaviour. She is very sorry for the upset that it caused them.

“There have been troubles in her life and she has struggled herself financially.”

Judge Christopher Smith told Wilson she was “at the helm of this fraudulent behaviour”, adding: "You failed to listen to so many warnings about your incompetent and dishonest trade in this line of work.”

Wilson was jailed for three years and one month.

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She was also banned from being a company director and given a criminal behaviour order preventing her from working in driveway or resin surface installation or from offering home maintenance or improvement services for eight years.

Co-accused David Gillies, 43, of Victoria Avenue, Redcar, who admitted eight unfair trading charges, received an eight-month prison term suspended for 18 months with 240 hours of unpaid work.