Pay back time for cowboy builder

WHEN Rachel and William Joyce were conned out of thousands of pounds for work on their Yarmouth home they feared they would never see the money again.But on Friday they were handed a cheque for �16,000 after the builder was ordered to repay them the cash - which he charged for repairing one broken roof tile.

WHEN Rachel and William Joyce were conned out of thousands of pounds for work on their Yarmouth home they feared they would never see the money again.

But on Friday they were handed a cheque for �16,000 after the builder was ordered to repay them the cash - which he charged for repairing one broken roof tile.

Mrs Joyce told how builder Bill Simpson became “nasty” when she queried the amount. She paid him off to get rid of him.

Earlier this week Simpson, 51, of Hinton, Saxmundham, was found guilty at Norwich Crown Court of fraud by false representation.


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He was handed a 40-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 200 hours' unpaid work, pay �750 costs and repay his victims the �16,000.

The verdict followed an investigation by Norfolk Constabulary's Operation RADAR Team and on Friday Det Con Dave McCormack, who led the investigation, returned the couple's money handing over a cheque for �16,000.

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The couple were aware they had a broken roof tile, but found it hard to recruit a builder to carry out such a minor repair.

It was while walking along Lowestoft Road in the town that they met Simpson who was working on another property.

Mrs Joyce said: “We spoke to him and he agreed to do the job.”

Simpson inspected the roof and took photographs showing further broken tiles and rotten wooden batons. Concerned by this damage, the Joyce's agreed to have further repairs carried out.

The repairs were allegedly taking place for a period of four weeks, during which time the entire property was surrounded by scaffolding. At the end of that period, the Joyce's were invoiced for over �11,000. A day later, they were handed a further bill four over �4,000.

Mrs Joyce said: “Very little work was done. The bill was handed to us on a scrap of paper and he got quite nasty and stroppy when we questioned him. I gave him the money to get him out of the house.”

After seeking legal advice the couple contacted police who sent independent surveyors to inspect the work carried out at the property, who judged the couple had paid for work which hadn't been done.

Det Con McCormack said: “He [Simpson] took advantage from Rachel and William from the very start. They trusted him as a professional builder and they thought they had had a professional service but they hadn't.

“This was a disgusting crime which Mr Simpson and those that aided him should be thoroughly ashamed of.”

“Operation RADAR is dedicated to hunting down rogue traders and getting them prosecuted. I am pleased to be able to give back all the money taken from Rachel and William so that they may enjoy it.”

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