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Norwich builder said he was under pressure from customers and admits he let people down

PUBLISHED: 14:31 25 January 2019

John Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court.  Picture: Archant

John Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Archant

A Norwich builder alleged to have left customers out of pocket and with unfinished work, said he had been under immense pressure trying to meet the needs of his clients and admitted he had let some people down.

John Miller, 46, of Three Mile Lane in Costessey, has denied fraudulent trading and money laundering.

Miller, who is being prosecuted by Norfolk County Council trading standards, specialises in house extensions, but customers have complained about nine of his projects, costing £250,000 in total.

Giving evidence at Norwich Crown Court, Miller told the jury that he had been under massive pressure especially with rising labour costs for work and had since given up undertaking any building extensions.

He said: “I was under constant pressure. The labour costs were huge and I put myself under massive pressure.”

He admitted: “I have let people down.”

However he said some of the delays were beyond his control and said it was stressful trying to achieve all the customers’ demands.

Miller said: “The stress to try to achieve not only their vision but the customer demands is really hard.”

He added: “I have not been awkward or difficult.”

He said he tried to accommodate what customers wanted, but often their plans changed and admitted he had to walk away from one job because of the constant changes demanded.

He also denied money laundering but said that he was forced to put some money in a bank account belonging to his wife as he was unable to open a new account of his own after the closure of the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society.

Asked by his barrister Mark Tomassi if he had used the account to try to hide the proceeds from creditors he said: “No way. It did not enter my mind. I did not have that thought in my head.”

Catherine Miller was cleared of the one count of money laundering she faced on Wednesday.

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