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Builder to name and shame non-payers

PUBLISHED: 15:06 06 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:06 03 July 2010

A BURGH Castle man is backing a fellow builder's campaign to name and shame non-paying customers, saying he was driven to the brink of suicide by so-called “cowboy clients.

A BURGH Castle man is backing a fellow builder's campaign to name and shame non-paying customers, saying he was driven to the brink of suicide by so-called “cowboy clients.”

Trevor Austin, 53, who runs T A Austin Builders, said he was forced to declare himself bankrupt in December after being owed £150,000 in unpaid bills and had contemplated killing himself.

But he has since managed to turn himself around with the support of wife Kara, 34 and children Charlotte, and Ben, and is supporting Sussex builder Nigel Gray's campaign for a change in the law to safeguard builders' rights.

Mr Gray hit the headlines in May last year when he demolished a £15,000 conservatory after a client failed to pay her bill. He has since set up the website www.roguecustomer.com to advise builders of their rights and name and shame non-paying customers.

Mr Austin, of Holly Terrace Farm, is due to meet MP Tony Wright to discuss the campaign.

Mr Austin, who has run his company for 30 years, said: “It is the big unpaid bills that can destroy your relationships and leave you in the gutter. All because somebody has got the guts to say they are not happy with the work done and there is not a thing you can do about it.”

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