Disgraced builder pleads guilty to more fraud charges
PUBLISHED: 19:01 27 February 2018 | UPDATED: 07:49 28 February 2018
A disgraced Norfolk builder has pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud after failing to satisfactorily complete home improvement works he had been hired to do.
Alan Blanchflower, of Cubitts Close, Bintree, near Dereham, pleaded guilty at Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday (February 27) to knowingly/recklessly engaging in a commercial practice in contravention of unfair trading regulations.
The offences, which involved home improvement works, took place between February 12 and December 24 2016 and November 3 2015 and December 23 2016.
In the first count, Blanchflower received advance payment but used the funds for other purposes.
He also failed to carry out the work to a reasonable standard or within a reasonable time frame, the court heard.
After pleading guilty to both counts, he was ordered to return to court on March 28 and had his bail extended.
Blanchflower was sentenced to 10 months in prison last year in King’s Lynn Crown Court for a similar offence, but was released under electronic monitoring on December 27.
He was jailed for “ruining the lives” of an Attleborough couple he cost more than £200,000.
The vulnerable couple, one of whom suffers Parkinson’s Disease, paid him more than £45,000 to convert their home.
The project began in April 2015 but work was slow and done so poorly the victims asked Blanchflower to leave in January the following year.
The couple, aged 75 at the time of the offence, had to spend a further £166,000 to fix the mess. Blanchflower, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Sentencing him at the time, recorder Andrew Shaw said: “Your criminal negligence almost cost them their entire life savings, you should hang your head in shame. “Worst of all your actions resulted in stress and anxiety and no doubt the deterioration of their physical and mental health.
“You ruined their lives and their home they enjoyed for 50 years. Defects of the work would have been obvious to you but still you did nothing. This offence is so serious only a custodial sentence can be justified.”
• Anyone concerned about rogue builder activity can contact Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.
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