Builder is hurt on way to court - but his trial continues without him
PUBLISHED: 15:29 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:05 27 November 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
A builder failed to turn up to his trial on Wednesday morning after he was injured on his way to court.
David Fysh, 41, of Woodwark Avenue, King's Lynn, is charged with breaching trading regulations - a charge he denies.
But the trial, brought by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, has gone ahead without him after Norwich Magistrates' Court heard it was the second time he had not shown up.
Prosecutor Jamie Sawyer said the court received a message from Fysh's partner claiming he had been stabbed.
He said Fysh had failed to attend previous court hearings claiming he had been in hospital and he asked magistrates to proceed with the trial as scheduled.
Mr Sawyer said: "It was confirmed that he is being treated at hospital but no information other than that has been provided.
"There's hardly any information on the status of the defendant's health."
The court heard how Fysh was hired by friend Simon Wade and his wife, Rachel, to carry out renovation works at their newly-bought home in Eye Lane, East Rudham, in August 2017.
Work began in November 2017 and Fysh carried out demolition work, levelled out the flooring and poured the concrete.
But the work then slowed down, the court was told.
By January 2018, the couple had paid the builder £20,636 of the £30,700 quote as he asked for advanced payments to pay bricklayers and buy materials, including £5,136 for roof trusses.
Fysh told the couple the materials were bought and were being kept at the companies' warehouses as there was no room on the building site.
But the court heard Fysh had been untruthful about the amount of materials bought, as Mr and Mrs Wade made enquiries to both companies and were told they held no materials for them.
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Mr Sawyer said the true cost of the roof trusses, which the couple never received, was £1,535.
Giving evidence in court, Mrs Wade said she sold her home in King's Lynn to buy the property in Eye Lane and to cover renovation costs.
"I wanted to relocate with my young daughter and bring my family back to the village I grew up in and have fond memories of," she said.
She said Mr Wade and Fysh had been friends for 15 years and went to college together, and believed he was a reputable builder based on his previous work.
But as the renovation project was taking too long to progress, Mrs Wade started asking Fysh questions about the whereabouts of materials and labourers.
She received a text message from him on January 25, 2018, saying he was finished with the job.
"I asked for my money back," Mrs Wade said in a tearful submission to the court. "He had all of my life savings and all I got was a concrete pad.
"We never had a penny back from him. He blocked me and wouldn't answer my calls."
Fysh's solicitor was not given instructions by the defendant and so he was not represented in court.
But a statement made by Fysh to Trading Standards was read out in which Fysh claimed Mr and Mrs Wade owed him money.
He said in the statement that he received £16,000 of the £25,453 quote, and that the remaining balance was still outstanding.
In another statement, dated May 15, 2019, Fysh said he was willing to pay back any money owed to resolve the matter, but asked for material that was delivered to the Wades' home to be deducted from the final bill.
He said he was suffering from stress and anxiety after a relationship breakdown two years ago, and that it was an extremely difficult time for him both emotionally and financially.
The trial continues.