Birmingham City Council prosecuted Scott Devlin, aged 44, of Robinson Close, Tamworth, after trading standards officers received complaints from customers left out of pocket. Several had to pay a new contractor to complete Devlin’s unfinished jobs.
Devlin, who traded as trading as Magical Kitchens & Builders, admitted making dishonest representations, failing to disclose information legally required and not completing building work as agreed at four properties in the region between November 2013 and January 2015.
Devlin was made bankrupt in November 2013 and, without bank account, he arranged for customers to make payments into the account of his nephew, Craig Dunn. Homeowners had made payments ranging from £2,535 to £139,000.
He pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to four offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and one offence under the Theft Act 1968 at a hearing in April. This week he was sentenced to 24 months in prison.
Craig Dunn, 33, of Turchill Drive, Sutton Coldfield, also pleaded guilty to two offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He received a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, was ordered to pay £4,000 costs and carry out 250 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.
Cllr Barbara Dring, chair of Birmingham City Council’s licensing and public protection committee, said: “Birmingham Trading Standards received a number of complaints about Scott Devlin’s trading practices, which often left his customers out of pocket with unfinished work done to their homes. Having any kind of building or maintenance work done to your home can be stressful and costly but these customers were misled about the builder’s reputation and ability to complete jobs on budget and to time. This 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.”