Builder left £20,000 bungalow project in mess - court told

John and Catherine Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court. Picture: Archant

John and Catherine Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court. Picture: Archant - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

A builder left a litany of problems at a £20,000 bungalow renovation, a court heard on Tuesday.

John and Catherine Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court. John Miller is charged with fraudulent tradin

John and Catherine Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court. John Miller is charged with fraudulent trading and money laundering which he denies, and Catherine Miller is charged with money laundering. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

John Miller, of Three Mile Lane, Costessey, specialises in house extensions, but customers have complained about nine of his projects, costing £250,000 in total.

The 46-year-old is on trial for fraudulent trading and money laundering which he denies.

Susan Wright told Norwich Crown Court how she and her husband Michael had hired Miller in October 2014 for a job on their Attleborough home.

They had hoped to sell the bungalow as they were living in Cheshire, but a surveyor found problems with the home and it needed metal piles inserting to its foundations.

John and Catherine Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court. John Miller is charged with fraudulent tradin

John and Catherine Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court. John Miller is charged with fraudulent trading and money laundering which he denies, and Catherine Miller is charged with money laundering. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019


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They paid Miller £21,500 to strip and then renovate the bungalow and were told the work would last around three months.

But six months later in April 2015 when completed, they found a series of problems with the work. Mrs Wright said doors were not level, the bathroom was not fitted to the standard they expected and the pipes in the kitchen leaked.

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The Wrights tried to get Miller back to repair or pay for the 'shoddy' work which needed doing, she said, but he did not return.

Miller told the Wrights in an email he would pay for work.

John and Catherine Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court. John Miller is charged with fraudulent tradin

John and Catherine Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court. John Miller is charged with fraudulent trading and money laundering which he denies, and Catherine Miller is charged with money laundering. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

And in September 2015 they sent him a bill of £9200 for repair work, but they never heard back.

The Wrights then went to the county court to get a judgement ordering Miller to pay, but they have not had a penny.

Mark Tomassi, defending Miller, said much of the work was carried out as agreed and there were extensive problems with the home which Miller had to put right.

He showed the court photos of the completed work.

Mr Tomassi said Miller admitted there had been problems with work subcontractors did but was 'always anxious to do his best to remedy them'.

'The defendant is a likeable and decent man who was trying to do his best to help you.' Mr Tomassi told Mrs Wright.

'If you have had a little more patience everything you have been complaining about would have been sorted, but instead it got nasty and threats were made to him. Your husband threatened to do his knee caps.'

Miller's wife Catherine, 38, has also been charged with money laundering which also denies.

The trial continues.

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