A builder from Clifton whose work on an extension left the building dangerous and at risk of collapse has been sentenced.

Craig Skelton, of Earl Close, Clifton, has been ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £250 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge after pleading guilty in court to sub-standard work.

Central Bedfordshire Council’s Trading Standards team was contacted by the customer after Skelton left the job incomplete and work carried out was found to be dangerous.

Skelton, trading as 365 Property Services Group Ltd, initially claimed the work would take about five months to complete, but after 11 months a large amount of work was still incomplete, despite the customer having paid £144,000.

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He then claimed he could not continue with the project without more money. When the customer refused, Skelton abandoned the job, leaving the customer with an uninhabitable home, forcing the family to live in temporary accomodation.

Surveyors discovered that beams, lintels, and joists had not been installed correctly leaving some areas of brickwork and flooring inadequately supported and at risk of possible collapse.

They also found other areas of work to be unacceptable and potentially requiring partial demolition, costing an extra £60,000.

Skelton also informed the customer that his company had ceased trading with immediate effect, only for a new company, called 365 PSG Ltd., to be formed just days later.

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On March 14, 2023, Skelton attended Luton Crown Court, and pleaded guilty to offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and Companies Act 2006.

This included contravening requirements of professional diligence, by failing to carry out work in a manner that was consistent with the standard of special skill and care reasonably expected and engaging in an unfair commercial practice.

In addition, he also pleaded guilty to making an application to voluntarily strike-off his company, which he was not permitted to do because the company had been trading in the previous three months.