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Cowboy builder must pay more than £70,000

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After David Jones hired a builder to convert a barn to attach to his home for £65,000. The builder gave an endless list of excuses' for not completing the work Williams ripped off barn's roof, knocked down a wall and destroyed neighbour's fence before changing his number and ceasing all contact with Mr Jones.

Mr Jones has now been awarded £69,000 out of Williams' £73,000 total fine. Mr Jones has now been awarded £69,000 by the County Court Money Claims Centre in Salford, Manchester, while Williams, who failed to attend the hearing, was fined £73,000. Speaking after the ruling, Mr Jones, 58, said: 'The whole thing was effectively a hit-and-run job. 'Right from the get-go he never intended to finish the work, and it was a case of him saying: 'Let's see how long I can screw this guy over for and how much money I can get'. 'To give him credit, he has a very particular modus operandi, and in this case, it has worked very effectively.

'When I first met him, I thought I had struck gold. The way he was speaking, it was as though he would be able to come in and take full control of the project. 'My impression was that he would take all of the stress away from me - but in the end, it was anything but. In early 2016, he asked for the £28,000 so that he could get started. 'Then I was just waiting, wondering when he was going to get going. It wasn't until 18 months later in the end. It was one very plausible excuse after another. 'At first, he said that he wanted to wait for winter to pass, so that he could get going once the days got longer - he said he'd be able to do two days in one, and that he could do the job quickly. 'I thought that sounded plausible, but then he was apparently very badly sick. Then his brother supposedly had a heart attack. Then he and his partner 'fell out'.

'The excuses were coming constantly. I wanted to be patient with him because he had a good reputation and as I had already paid for the materials. 'Eventually, he did get going - but it wasn't until July last year. But it turned out to be an absolute nightmare. He ripped off the slates on the top of the barn and then said that he actually hadn't bought any new ones. 'He pulled out the electrics, knocked down one of the walls and trashed the neighbour's fence by dropping materials on it. 'Then, one day in August, he just didn't show up. No explanation or anything. 'I sent him a text, asking for the receipts for the materials that he had supposedly bought with my money and pictures of said materials. 'He said that he would transfer the money to buy the materials as soon as possible, and I told him that he had a deadline of August 30. 'That was the last time I heard from him - he changed his number on the day of the deadline, and never got back in touch.

'The whole thing has left me devastated - I was on the verge of a mental breakdown while he was messing me around, and was very sick indeed. 'It's just disgusting knowing that right from the start all he wanted was to swindle me. You just wonder how many other people he has done this too. 'I've now got a new builder in who is working on the barn, but at the moment a lot of the money I got from the court is going towards repairing the damage. 'We've had to scale back the project significantly, and it's a lot less ambitious than when I first started. 'I just feel for the little lad, who has had to wait so long for his new room and to move into the new house. He's incredibly disappointed.'


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