Wearside cowboy builder ordered to pay back customers
A cowboy builder who left a string of 'vulnerable and elderly' homeowners out of pocket and in unsafe living conditions has been ordered to pay almost Â£10,000 in compensation.
Gary Young, who traded as Marley Roofcare Ltd, left five customers with ‘incompetent or slap-dash’ work on their roofs throughout 2015 and became the subject of an investigation by trading standards.
The 54-year-old, of Havelock Court, Sunderland, took deposits from customers before leaving a trail of either unfinished or sub-standard work. In some cases work was never even started.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how the conman must now pay £9,983 back to his victims, as well as £2,000 prosecution costs.
Young had failed to turn up to a trial at Sunderland Magistrates and, in his absence, was found guilty of one count of misleading and communicating false information and five counts of failing to carry out adequate building work.
Tony Cornberg, prosecuting, said: “Mr Young was convicted in his absence in respect of a number of offences.
“He took deposits for work he had not started or work he had not completed or work he had completed to a sub-standard level.”
Mr Cornberg said one of the victims, in his 70s, had “saved hard for everything” and was caused “additional stress and anxiety”
by the case, which meant he had to borrow money - describing it as the “worst experience of his life”.
Another victim described the “lies and deceit” she suffered at the hands of Young, and was left with a leaking roof.
Young was also brought to account for taking an advert claiming he was checked and vetted - which he wasn’t.
Young, who represented himself in court, said: “The reason I was not here on the last occasion was because I tried to kill myself and was in hospital. I have been diagnosed with depression.
“A lot of the things that have been said have not been true. I admit there were mistakes, I am not saying I am in the right but I am not saying I am in the wrong either.
“I have been in the roofing business for 40 years. I had 70 men working for me. Now it’s just me by myself. If I have to pay then I have to pay, I have lost my business.”
Recorder John Aitken imposed a sentence of three months suspended for two years, as well as the compensation order.
The recorder said: “If the sum is not paid it will be passed on to the enforcement department.”