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Builder found guilty despite injury stopping him showing up to trial

PUBLISHED: 08:05 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:38 28 November 2019

The result of renovation works at Eye Lane, East Rudham, which David Fysh failed to complete despite being paid more than £20,500. Picture: Courtesy of Norfolk Trading Standards

The result of renovation works at Eye Lane, East Rudham, which David Fysh failed to complete despite being paid more than £20,500. Picture: Courtesy of Norfolk Trading Standards

Norfolk Trading Standards

A builder who charged for work he never completed has been convicted - despite an injury stopping him coming to court.

David Fysh, from King's Lynn, was found guilty of breaching Unfair Trading Regulations in his absence at Norwich Magistrates' Court. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodDavid Fysh, from King's Lynn, was found guilty of breaching Unfair Trading Regulations in his absence at Norwich Magistrates' Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

David Fysh, 41, of Woodwark Avenue, King's Lynn, had taken thousands of pounds from a couple and charged for materials he did not buy.

He was found guilty of breaching trading regulations at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Wednesday. 
The trial, brought by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, went ahead without him after he failed to show up for the second time.

Prosecutor Jamie Sawyer said the court received a message from Fysh's partner claiming he had been stabbed on the way to court.

Mr Sawyer said Fysh was in hospital but no details of his injuries could be confirmed.

The building site at Eye Lane, East Rudham, where trader David Fysh failed to complete renovations works. Picture: Courtesy of Norfolk Trading StandardsThe building site at Eye Lane, East Rudham, where trader David Fysh failed to complete renovations works. Picture: Courtesy of Norfolk Trading Standards

Magistrates 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 but slowed down by December with only the concrete foundation laid down.

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.

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But the court heard Fysh had been untruthful about the price and amount of materials bought.

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.

She said: "I wanted to bring my family back to the village I grew up in and have fond memories of."

She said Mr Wade and Fysh had been friends for 15 years and went to college together, and they believed he was a reputable builder.

"He had all of my life savings and all I got was a concrete pad," she said.

Fysh was not represented in court, but in a statement made to Trading Standards in May he said he was suffering both financially and emotionally after a relationship breakdown two years ago.

Sophie Leney, head of Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, said: "The way this trader operated fell far short of expectations and today's verdict reflects that.

"David Fysh charged for the work he did not do and for materials he did not buy and refused to give any refunds. This was not only completely unacceptable under consumer protection law, but also very distressing for his victims."

Fysh will be sentenced at a later date.

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