Cowboy Hartlepool builder left victims' home like a building site for years after taking over £46,000

A ‘cowboy’ builder has been jailed for shoddy work that left a couple’s home like a building site for almost four years.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 11:43 am

Jamie Thompson, 46, from Hartlepool, took over £46,000 from victims Julie and Kelvin Briggs to build an extension to their Billingham home so Mrs Briggs’ elderly parents could go and live with them.

But Teesside Crown Court heard he turned up when he felt like it with the work done to a poor standard and left never to return when the victims contacted Trading Standards.

The court heard it will cost over £63,000 to put right which the couple can’t afford.

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Jamie Thompson was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court.

Mrs Briggs lost her job due to anxiety and depression she suffered because of Thompson’s actions.

He also told the couple he would take care of the building regulations as part of his £50,000 quote.

But eight months into the job in November 2017, Mrs Briggs discovered planning approval had never been applied for when she rang Stockton Borough Council.

Joanne Kidd, prosecuting, said: “Because of the ongoing delays with the quality of work they spent a significant period of time having to go to other people’s houses in order to access baths and toilet facilities.

"The build was subsequently assessed by a chartered surveyor who reviewed the workmanship. He concluded that the work that had been carried out was at a very basic level of completion and that the payment made up to date represented an overpayment in excess of 40%.

"He also concluded that further outstanding work would incur further significant costs.”

Thompson, a builder of 25 years experience, spent the cash on drink and drugs he was taking linked to the break up of his marriage and for the mortgages on four properties.

He admitted two offences of engaging in unfair commercial practices and one of fraud after taking almost £3,000 in September 2017 for a failed guarantee to finish the work by November.

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Mrs Briggs also paid Thompson £1,600 for a new boiler which he pretended to order in a faked phone call but never did.

In a statement Mrs Briggs said: “The house still remains unfinished. My parents are still in rented accommodation.

"It’s a constant worry to myself and my family how we’re going to resolve this problem.”

Christine Egerton, defending, said Thompson accepted he had ‘no thought’ for Mr and Mrs Briggs at the time.

She said: “He wishes to apologise for his actions to the victims. He’s ashamed of what he did.

"My instructions are he let things get on top of him at that time in his life.”

Ms Egerton added references indicated Thompson, of The Green, Elwick, had a good reputation and generally worked to a very high standard.

Judge Jonathan Carroll said: "This is a category of case that can be described in layman’s language as a cowboy builder.

“You rendered over an extended period of time their life a complete misery as you promised to deliver that [extension] and failed and failed and failed again.

"This has had a devastating impact upon her (Mrs Briggs) and her family.”

Thompson was jailed for 13 months and two weeks.

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