Rogue builder fleeced woman of £29k for work he never did Crook then left fam­ily with £20,000 re­pair bill

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Stephanie Bal­loo Staff Re­porter

AWOLVERHAMPTON mother has spo­ken of the dev­as­ta­tion a cow­boy builder caused af­ter he fleeced her out of al­most £30,000 and left her fam­ily home at risk of crum­bling.

An­drew Ted­still took £29,000 of Affy Paul’s money af­ter threat­en­ing to knock her walls down un­less she kept pay­ing up.

Af­ter bleed­ing her dry, he then walked away from the job, leav­ing her fam­ily with a leak­ing roof and no heat­ing or wash­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

Ms Paul said she had trusted the builder to com­plete the work on her home, but in­stead was left fac­ing a fur­ther £20,000 bill to put the botched job right.

“I trusted An­drew to come and do the work in my house and as it un­folded he was a rogue trader,” she said.

“And it’s ac­tu­ally had an emo­tional, phys­i­cal and fi­nan­cial im­pact on my life and my chil­dren’s life.”

Ms Paul had given Ted­still sev­eral pay­ments and ques­tioned him when she re­alised he was not ac­tu­ally com­plet­ing each stage be­fore mov- ing onto the next. She said: “It was all about the money, that’s all it was, it was about the fi­nan­cial gain for him. But it was life-chang­ing for my­self and my chil­dren – that I wasn’t ex­pect­ing.”

Ms Paul said rogue traders like Ted­still should be made an ex­am­ple of and pre­vented from tar­get­ing res­i­dents, es­pe­cially “vul­ner­a­ble women”.

Dur­ing the works, Ted­still cut through ca­bles, leav­ing the prop­erty in Penn, Wolver­hamp­ton, with no in­ter­net for 18 months and a house alarm that did not work.

Wolver­hamp­ton Trad­ing Stan­dards took the case up and Ted­still, of Green Oak Road, Cod­sall, was jailed for seven months at the city’s crown court this week.

He pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted a charge of un­fair trad­ing by breach­ing pro­fes­sional dili­gence.

Ms Paul said: “I chose to trust this man and al­low him into the pri­vacy of our home, to ren­o­vate an ex­ten­sion I’ve wanted for so long.

“It soon dawned on me that my home had been in­vaded by a rogue builder, who had no in­ten­tions of com­plet­ing the job and ev­ery in­ten­tion to take all of my money.

“I feared not be­ing able to af­ford my mort­gage pay­ments and of­ten laid awake at night, scared my house would cave in.

“I do not want any­one to go through the trauma I have ex­pe­ri­enced both fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally – caused by the mind­less crim­i­nal be­hav­iour of An­drew Ted­still.

“I am so grate­ful to Wolver­hamp­ton Trad­ing Stan­dards who have en­abled me to pur­sue this mat­ter and get this cow­boy builder pros­e­cuted and to­day, brought to jus­tice.”

Lee Jenks, se­nior trad­ing stan­dards of­fi­cer at City of Wolver­hamp­ton Coun­cil, said: “I’m pleased jus­tice has been served.

“Cow­boy builders cause a huge amount of stress to the vic­tims who have worked hard and saved to pay for im­prove­ments to their home only to be badly let down.

“It’s vi­tal that we bring cases like this to the pub­lic’s at­ten­tion – to en­sure they avoid be­com­ing vic­tims of reck­less cow­boy builders.

“As a coun­cil, we have a duty to pro­tect con­sumers from rogue traders who break the law and carry out sub-stan­dard work and will con­tinue to work to bring rogue traders to jus­tice.”

> Affy Paul, who fell vic­tim to rogue builder An­drew Ted­still, right, who fleeced her out of £29,000

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