A tax dodging ‘builder‘ has recently walked free from court, despite conning £200,000 from his customers. This was because he had fears that in prison, his medical condition would be made worse.
David Reed, not only conned his elderly customers but also dodged the tax man out of £50,000. He began conning his customers in 2008, following the building market collapse. He did this by refusing to provide a cost estimate for his work and then ridiculously overcharging them. One man had to withdraw money from his pension to cover the cost! Another even took out a £5,000 loan to cover the mounting costs!
The prosecuting lawyer stated: “Mr Reed would turn up on a cold call, take a look around and come back with a price.”
“There was never any estimates written down. He was quick to get a foot in and once he was in, he was in.”
His firm Able Roofing did complete the work to an acceptable standard. Nonetheless, the customers were still drastically overpriced. Customers of Mr Reed described him as “persistent”, “intimidating” and “pushy”. When the taxman caught up with the builder though, he even went to two of his customer’s houses and “forcefully urged” them not to aid in the investigation.
Reed avoided prison though due to his medical condition. Back in 2014, he had emergency surgery to remove his anus and now, he lives with an illeo-anal pouch. This is something he has to empty throughout the day and night. Something that would be difficult for him to do in prison. Therefore, lawyers argued this would cause him to “suffer.”
By paying back the money to his customers though, he was able to avoid jail time. Instead, he was charged with two sentences running at the same time and suspended for eighteen months. Not only that but he is also having to follow an electronic curfew for four months too.
It’s not all bad in the construction industry though, despite rogue builders giving the rest of us in the trade a bad name. One builder fought back and decided to help out the victims of rogue traders. Take a look at the full thing here.
So what do you think? Do you feel he should have faced jail time? Let us know in the comments below.