Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shoddy and Shameful; Building Firm Bosses Left Trail of Awful Work

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shoddy and Shameful; Building Firm Bosses Left Trail of Awful Work

Article excerpt

Byline: GARETH LIGHTFOOT gareth.lightfoot@trinitymirror.com @GazetteCourt

HOMEOWNERS across Teesside were ripped off with shoddy building work by a firm with an "ethos of incompetence" which turned to fraud, a court heard.

Gambler Jonathan Jones, 33, frittered away PS41,000 at the casino while charging customers thousands for poor, incompetent or non-existent work.

He and Rebecca Dack, 34 - sole directors of JBS Driveways and JBS Home Improvements respectively in Billingham - could now face jail The misery of 31 victims who paid money into Jones' accounts between September 2014 and July 2016 was set out at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

They included a couple trying to make their home more accessible for their disabled daughter, an 89-year-old woman in the early stages of Alzheimer's, a couple in their 70s in ill health, and the dad of a four-year-old boy with a broken leg.

They lost a total of PS53,430.

Prosecutor Richard Bennett told of substandard work including: |Workmen building a wall to the wrong height and digging up the wrong part of a garden and causing damage to a gas mains pipe; |Drain covers concreted in place, drains blocked, sewage flooding a patio, a leaking roof, and sealant put over frozen pools of water, grass, dirt and bird droppings; |Work done in the dark - once in van headlights - or left undone, with one woman left without steps for weeks; |Promises to rectify problems not kept, repairs done as a "cover-up" or never carried out at all, no responses to contact from customers; |"Total lack of management" of workmen by Jones, who told one customer to do some of the work himself, another to just "live with it".

One expert said: "In my professional career I have not seen such a poorly constructed section of brickwork which defies even being classified as a bad DIY job. …

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