Mark Johnson, a 41 year old builder from Bristol, has been sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment. This is for committing fraud against an elderly woman and carrying out work classed as “shoddy” by officials.

His customer had agreed to pay him £3,250 in instalments. This was payment in exchange for the re-rendering of her home. Johnson though, then went on to take an added deposit of £1,200 from her to build her a new driveway. He did not however complete any of the work this deposit money was designated for.

When investigations were conducted into the builder’s finances though, it did in fact reveal that the money had immediately exited his account. There were no indications though that any of this money had been spent on materials or equipment. This was not the end to Johnson’s scheme though. The elderly customer even ended up paying him an extra £800 to paint her house too!

For all the minimal and shoddy work he did do though Johnson ended up being paid just over £5,000. Chartered surveyors classed the work carried out though to be of a “poor standard” with “a number of defects.” The courts also ruled that the work was “entirely shoddy, incomplete and effectively worthless.”

The elderly customer made it clear though, that it wasn’t just the money that encouraged her to take the case to court. But it was actually the fact that the experience left her feeling “vulnerable and afraid.”

She admitted, “the effect on me goes way beyond the financial losses and the cost of repairing my house. As an older woman living alone, I felt prayed on and targeted by his attention.”

“I didn’t feel safe or secure in my own home and felt violated, given the faith I had placed in Mr Johnson.”

“It will be a while before I feel confident in my judgement of others and secure again in my own home.”

This experience for the victim has left her feeling vulnerable and mistrusting, ruining her perception of tradespeople. What do you think about this? Are you sick of dodgy tradesman giving you lot a bad name? Let us know in the comments below.