A cowboy builder who took more than £12,000 in payments for unfinished and unnecessary construction work on an Edgbaston property has been ordered to pay £17,106 at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Thursday (03/08).

John Casey, aged 59, from Edgbaston, pleaded guilty to three offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. He was fined £900 and also ordered to pay £1,818 in costs and £14,388 in compensation.

Birmingham City Council brought the case after Trading Standards were contacted by a neighbour, who reported concerns about the amount of building works being carried out on a house in Lyttleton Road, Edgbaston between 16th January and 6th February last year.

The property owner, who believed their house had been damaged during bad weather, was approached by Casey who said he was doing building work in the area and noted there was a problem with the property’s guttering.

After discussions, a series of works were agreed –  including guttering around the property, tiles to be replaced on the laundry room, and one of the top floor windows to be replaced – for which a general price of £8,000-£10,000.  However, over a two-and-a-half week period, the homeowner wrote three cheques totalling £12,000.

A survey of the works carried out revealed the guttering and window repair to be defective, while the installation of eaves trays in the property was defective, incomplete and unnecessary.  The tiling works on the laundry room were not carried out.

Casey had also claimed there was damp in three of the first floor bedrooms, requiring works to be done to the high level roof and the installation of eaves trays – but the survey found no evidence that the covering was defective nor of damp ingress.

Cllr Barbara Dring, chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “Having any kind of building or maintenance work done to your home can be stressful and costly, which is why it’s vital that we bring cases like this to the public’s attention – to ensure they avoid becoming victims of cowboy builders like this.”