Stephen Robert Thompson, of Whessoe Road, Darlington, pleaded guilty to consumer protection offences at Peterlee Magistrates Court following an investigation by Hartlepool Borough Council’s trading standards Team.
Trading under Right Price Roofing, 31-year-old Thompson charged the couple £5,000 to fit a full new roof on their home.
But the work carried out was so poor that it needed to be completely redone by a different firm.
The couple had decided to use pension money to pay for the roof replacement that was supposed to last them through their retirement.
Thompson’s paperwork stipulated payment would be “due on completion of work”.
On the first day of work, however, after removing the original roof, he asked the pair for £3,000 to buy the new tiles.
The couple said they felt they had no choice but to pay the money “up front”.
He later asked for another £2,000 for further materials.
A number of problems with his work then started to appear.
Workers began to fail to show up before eventually walking away completely.
While work was still ongoing, roofers reportedly put their feet through two different bedroom ceilings – causing damage that was not repaired.
The roof also leaked in various places and the couple were forced to wait months before the areas were redone.
The charted surveyor instructed to review the work as part of the trading standards investigation concluded the poor quality of work was such that the entire roof needed to be stripped and redone.
He also concluded that Thompson’s firm was not capable of carrying out the roofing work it had advertised.
“The quality of this work was horrendous and my sympathies go to the homeowners who had to live with the worry and disruption caused,” Ian Harrison, the council’s trading standards and licensing manager, said.
"Significant damage was caused to the property which took many months to resolve.
“I am pleased with the result in court today and hope it sends a message to other cowboy builders that we will investigate shoddy work and not hesitate to prosecute those responsible.”
Advice about unsatisfactory work is available from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 250 5050.