Cowboy builder spends £46,000 extension fee on drink and drugs

A family has said they are “financially crippled”. After a cowboy builder spent their money on drink and drugs.

Cowboy builder spends £46,000 extension fee on drink and drugs: Kelvin and Julie Briggs found their extension plans in shreds after the incident. They had purchased a property on Mainsforth Drive, Billingham and planned the extension to live with Julie’s elderly parents. Their long term plan was also to home her brother who has disabilities. They had spent £46,000 and said they were living on a “building site”.

Mrs Brigg’s parents were still having to reside in rented accommodation. Builder Jamie Thompson was jailed of 13 months and 2 weeks at Teeside Crown Court. After admitting two charges of unfair commercial practice and one of fraud. The builder, from Hartlepool, has 25 years experience in the business. However, he spent the couple’s cash on drink and drugs after the breakdown of his marriage.

He would turn up “now and again” and his work was poor jurors were told. He took almost £3,000 from the couple in September 2017 to finish the work. By November the work had not been completed. Telling the couple he would sort out the building regulations, Mrs Briggs was shocked to find planning approval had never been applied for when she rang Stockton Borough Council.

Judge Jonathan Carroll said during sentencing. “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 Mrs Briggs and her family.” 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.” A friend of Mr Briggs, Scott Horsley, said the situation was “absolutely unbelievable”. A major part of the property is still uninhabitable and the Briggs family have been quoted £60,000 to put it right. They have set up a GoFundMe page to raise £10,000 to help finish the job


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