fbpx

Cowboy Builders Can Expect Stern Punishment – Court of Appeal Ruling

24th December 2021 By

Cowboy builders who rip off householders are a well-known blight on society. As a Court of Appeal ruling showed, however, judges are well abreast of their activities and culprits can expect severe punishment, up to and including imprisonment.

The case concerned a man who approached a total of 16 homeowners, offering to carry out repair or refurbishment work. In some cases, he took money in advance but never started work. In others, he began jobs but the work was invariably unfinished and performed to a very poor standard. He was said to owe close to £50,000 to householders from whom he had extorted money.

After the local authority for the affected area launched proceedings, a judge ordered him to provide financial redress to his victims and to desist from any similar conduct in the future. The council sought his committal to prison for contempt of court on the basis that he had breached that order. Following a hearing, which he did not attend, a judge sentenced him to a nine-month jail term.

In dismissing his appeal against that outcome, the Court noted that he had, in similar circumstances, previously received a six-month sentence in respect of proceedings brought by the Office of Fair Trading. That punishment, however, had little or no deterrent effect. The more recent nine-month term was entirely justified and fell well within the reasonable band of sentencing decisions.

The man asserted that he had physical and mental health problems and had recently tested positive for COVID-19. The Court noted that it remained open to him to seek discharge or variation of his sentence on the basis that he was medically unfit to go to prison. Such a contention would, however, need to be supported by appropriate documentation or other evidence.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Award That Requires Borrowing Made Into Court Order

17th May, 2024 By

Disagreements between separating couples all too often result in litigation that substantially reduces the assets available to them, as was illustrated by a case that recently reached the High Court. At issue was whether awards made by arbitrators in financial remedy proceedings can be made into court orders even if that would require one of the parties to borrow money. The couple had previously had a relationship lasting a few years before resuming their relationship in 2015. They had two children before separating again in 2019. Following their separation, the...

Inheritance Disputes – Costs Risks Can Be Reduced

15th May, 2024 By

Arguments about what someone promised before their death can lead to significant legal costs. However, if faced with a claim against the estate, there may be steps the beneficiaries or executors can take to reduce the risks, as a recent High Court case illustrated. A man had left a farmhouse and agricultural land in Cornwall to his wife, with whom he had also jointly owned a neighbouring area of land. After his death, one of the couple's daughters and her husband claimed that he had told them he wanted them...

Share Rounding Error Does Not Prevent CGT Relief

13th May, 2024 By

There are often very specific rules that must be complied with in order to claim tax reliefs, but if a small mistake arises, the courts may be able to provide assistance. In a recent case, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) found that an investor was entitled to Entrepreneurs' Relief on the disposal of his shares in a company, despite owning one share fewer than he needed to qualify for it. The investor had agreed to purchase 5 per cent of the shares in the company for £500,000. He wished to own...

Wife Entitled to Maintenance Until Sale of Family Home

10th May, 2024 By

When divorcing couples disagree on how assets should be divided, the courts will seek to arrive at a fair outcome for both parties. In deciding how the proceeds of sale of a former couple's home should be apportioned, the Family Court agreed with the wife that she should receive maintenance payments until the sale took place. The couple had married in 2006. Following a brief separation, they had reconciled for two years before finally separating in 2022. The husband and wife both contended that they should be entitled to about...