Victim of cowboy builder ‘glad’ he’s behind bars
A VICTIM of a cowboy builder who left windows stained with cement and took £1,000 for the pleasure says she is “glad” he is behind bars.
Ian Cottle, who ran ACE Plastering and Building Services Ltd, was jailed for 22 months at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday. The 52-year-old from Brook Street, Barry, pleaded guilty to 14 counts under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
The court heard that Cottle made nearly £30,000 from six customers in 2016, but they had to pay out thousands more to correct his shoddy work, and in some cases inspectors found the work to be unsafe.
One of his victims, Helen Cade, 45, and her partner Gary Jones, 43, from Barry, employed Cottle to render their home for a fee of £3,400.
They paid Cottle a £1,000 deposit to carry out the works which were due to take two weeks. But things did not go to the homeowners’ plans and they found themselves having to spend more money to repair the damage that Cottle’s workmen caused.
Helen said: “We were having our house rendered and they made an awful mess. We had new windows put in that day and they got cement all over them. It took us weeks to get all of this stuff off that dried all over the windows which was a shame.”
Days after the shoddy work had been carried out, Helen and Gary tried to contact Cottle by phone and emails but were unable to get hold of him.
To add insult to injury, once the couple employed a reputable renderer to look at the work, they found that no waterproofing agent had been used and the work had to be completely re-done.
Helen said: “All that time the windows weren’t sealed because he had not used the appropriate stuff we had asked him to use. We wanted to stop him from doing it to someone else.”
The court heard that Cottle claimed he was City & Guilds qualified and was fully insured to carry out work but neither of these claims were true.
Helen added: “I am just glad that he won’t be doing poor workmanship on anyone else’s property.”
Cottle was also disqualified from being a company director for five years and was ordered to pay £2,000 in compensation, plus £2,000 costs.
> Ian Cottle