‘I’ve got nothing’: Cowboy builder’s claim despite £118,000 benefit from crimes

Andrew Jay was jailed for four years after he conned homeowners out of £85,000 by failing to complet

Andrew Jay was jailed for four years after he conned homeowners out of £85,000 by failing to complete building work at their properties. Picture: Suffolk Constabulary - Credit: Archant

A cowboy builder who is serving a four year jail term for conning homeowners out of £85,000 has told a court he has no money to pay compensation to his victims.

Andrew Jay returned to Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday, June 6, for a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act to determine his benefit from his offending and his available assets.

Judge David Goodin said Jay's benefit was around £118,000 and adjourned the hearing until June 20 to allow further inquiries to be made into a vehicle believed to be owned by him.

However speaking from the dock, Jay told the judge: "I've got nothing."

Sentencing Jay last month, Judge Goodin said his victims included a widow whose home was left uninhabitable and a man whose wife was recovering from an operation for cancer.

The judge said: "To call you a cowboy builder would be a significant understatement."

In addition to jailing Jay, 56, he made him the subject of a five-year criminal behaviour order.

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Jay, of Park Road, Lowestoft, who ran AGH Builders, pleaded guilty to eight offences of fraud.

He also admitted theft and breaching an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) made by Norwich Crown Court in 2014 which banned him from operating a building company and entering into contracts which failed to abide by conditions.

Jay also admitted breaching a suspended sentence order of 16 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, imposed at Ipswich Crown Court in April 2017 for three offences of breaching a criminal behaviour order.

The fraud offences relate to properties in Essex Road, Marbella Green, Church Road and Corton Road in Lowestoft, Seafield Road North in Caister and Carlton Square in Carlton Colville.

The court heard that Jay was jailed for 28 months in 2014 for a string of similar offences which involved him pocketing thousands of pounds from customers for work he never completed.

John Morgans, for Jay, said his client was ashamed to be back before the court.

Last month, a heartbroken widower told how his dying wife was denied her dream conservatory after the couple fell victims to Jay in 2016, who boldly ripped up a receipt in front of their eyes.

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