Conviction of rogue Norfolk builder prompts warning that others will not get away with it
PUBLISHED: 09:56 01 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:48 07 February 2019
Copyright: Archant 2019
The conviction of a rogue builder who has been warned he faces jail after being convicted should serve as a warning to others that they will not get away with it.
That is the message today from Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, after John Miller, 46, was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading, and one count of money laundering.
Miller, of Three Mile Lane, Costessey, specialises in house extensions, but customers had complained about nine of his projects, costing £250,000 in total.
He has been warned by Judge Stephen Holt that custody was now almost “inevitable” after the jury at Norwich Crown Court returned their verdicts on Thursday (January 31) following a trial which.
The conviction, which followed an investigation by Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards team, prompted Mrs Dewsbury to commend their work - and warn others.
She said: “It’s thanks to the dedication and hard work of the Norfolk County Council Trading Standards team that this rogue builder has been successfully convicted for his crimes. In all the cases the crimes led to a lot of stress, distress and considerable financial loss for people who were simply looking to make improvements to their homes.
“I was shocked to hear that in one case a parent was left with a new born baby in a house with no heating or hot water in March for weeks. I hope the result today brings some closure to what has been a very difficult time for John Millers’ customers and should serve as a warning to other rogue traders that they will not get away with crimes such as this.”
During the trial the court heard expert evidence from a chartered building surveyor who had found a long lists of faults with work carried out by John Miller at two properties. These faults included uneven and sloping floors, a front door that had been hung in a frame that was too large with gaps evident when the door was shut, and an undulating wall. On just those two properties the cost of remedial work was estimated at more than £14,000.
Other properties were left with unevenly spaced roof joists, leaking windows and a roof that had started to sag under its own weight. The total cost of finishing or putting right the work carried out by John Miller in just four of the eight homes is estimated to be more than £55,000.
Sentencing has been adjourned until February 20 to allow victims the chance to complete victim impact statements and detail the “full horrors of what they’ve been through”.
Miller was granted bail until next month’s sentencing hearing.