'I just want my money back' - Victim of cowboy builder speaks out

Vicki Mileham and Ash Paniri

Vicki Mileham and partner Ash Paniri - Credit: Vicki Mileham

"Just pay back the £67,300 you ripped off me."

That is the message from a victim of a rogue builder who left her home in a shambolic and dangerous state after failing to complete an extension and keeping the money.

Vicki Mileham had handed over £67,300 to Reece Lloyd to carry out the work at her home in Belton, near Great Yarmouth which was never completed.

The gas pipes had been built into the cavity wall. Photo: Vicki Mileham

The gas pipes had been built into the cavity wall - Credit: Vicki Mileham

On Tuesday Lloyd pleaded guilty to to one offence under Unfair Trading Regulations of knowingly or recklessly engaging in a commercial practice that contravened professional diligence.

Lloyd, 30, of Western Avenue, Gorleston, now faces the prospect of a proceeds of crime hearing at Norwich Crown Court to try and claw back his ill-gotten gains and being jailed for up to two years.

Mrs Mileham, a nurse and mother to 15-year-old girl twins, said: "I feel hugely relieved that he admitted it.

This is a picture of the sagging roof which was undulating back in March. Photo: Vicki Mileham

A sagging roof which was undulating back - Credit: Vicki Mileham

"I don't feel any joy that he might go to prison.

"I am angry towards him but don't feel malice towards him.

Most Read

"What I want from Reece is for him to give my money back. But I won't hold my breath.

"He had said to me before that he couldn't afford to pay me pack as he could not afford a roof over his family's head.

"But at the time I had no roof over my children's heads."

How the extension was left by the builders in March, with open access to the house from the outside.

How the extension was left by the builders with open access to the house from the outside. - Credit: Vicki Mileham

Work started at the end of 2019 and In March 2020 the property was left in a poor state, with an exposed roof, live wires hanging out, no water or drainage in a newly fitted kitchen, a poorly fitted flue and wonky walls.

Mrs Mileham said that if Lloyd did not pay back the money it could take up to three more years to pay for and rectify all the faults he left at her home.

She said at the moment she had a half finished kitchen, the hall and stairs were a "complete mess" and floors were still uneven and work was needed in other rooms.

Mrs Mileham, whose partner is Ash Paniri, also said she needed spinal surgery after suffering an injury while trying to rectify the shoddy workmanship.

Picture, taken by Ms Mileham, showing the "wonky wall" which had been built by Diamond Standard Reno

A picture, taken by Mrs Mileham, showing the "wonky wall" which had been built by Diamond Standard Renovation's contractors. - Credit: Vicki Mileham

She also has to work six days a week to try and find the money for remedial work at her home.

The couple got together after Mr Paniri, a bus driver offered to help repair some of the work.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter