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Fraudulent builder sentenced to 3 years in prison

Monday, 17 June 2024

A fraudulent builder who left works incomplete or to a poor standard and built one of the worst extensions that a surveyor had ever seen, has been found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison.

Barrie Parkin, aged 73, of no fixed address, was found guilty of participating in a fraudulent business carried out by a sole trader following an investigation by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team and a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

The court heard that between March 2014 and February 2019, Parkin carried out building works for a number of victims including the construction of extensions, conservatories and an orangery, for which he vastly overquoted before delivering the works to a poor standard.

Victims were often contacted by Parkin after registering their requirements on trade websites and after quoting for works he would agree a timescale and a price without any kind of formal contract detailing cancellation rights.

Prices for works were often inflated and in a number of cases Parkin requested payments ahead of their due dates on the payment plans he had set out. Once he had received most of the money quoted, if not more, he would often fail to turn up to complete the works and some victims reported that he became angry when challenged.

The court also heard that Parkin would tell victims he would gain the necessary planning permission but this never materialised, leading to victims having works completed without planning approval.

One victim was left with hanging electrical wires and an overflow pipe sticking out into the conservatory, that Parkin had originally estimated would take six weeks to build.

10 months later, the conservatory was still only a shell, and it was only after contacting the council that the victim realised that works had taken place without planning approval.

In this case, expert evidence from a chartered surveyor concluded that the requested works should have cost around £8,000 but that Parkin had quoted £14,000 and added a number of extra charges on.

Another victim was quoted £19,495 for an orangery she wished to have built which Parkin estimated would take eight weeks.

16 weeks later, after becoming concerned about the poor standard of works being carried out and the increasing requests for payments ahead of schedule, the victim arranged for building inspectors to attend and was informed that there were a number of defects and that the work was of poor quality. She then contacted Parkin to request to cancel the works and Parkin responded to this request by asking for an additional £4,000 to cancel.

The court also heard that in another case a surveyor had stated that an extension built by Parkin was ‘one of the worst he had ever seen and should be condemned.’

In this case, the value of the works carried out was assessed to be around £5,000 despite the victims paying out £20,591.23.

Other cases saw Parkin leaving a home exposed and open to the elements when building an extension and throwing stones from a driveway onto the walls of a conservatory to mimic the pebble dashed effect of the rest of the house.

Andrea Reeves, aged 57, and George Reeves, aged 68, of Sutton-In-Ashfield said: “When we met Barrie Parkin in 2016, he presented himself as a successful builder and showed us photographs of work that he claimed was his, but this turned out to be a complete façade.

“We trusted Barrie Parkin and used all our savings to pay for him to build a new kitchen and bathroom extension, but the work was so poor we were told by experts that it needed to be demolished and rebuilt. In the middle of this ordeal George was diagnosed with cancer. We had been left with cramped, temporary bathroom and kitchen facilities, which made it extremely difficult to care for George and the worry about repairing our home added to the stress of his treatment.

“We had to wait until 2021 before we could afford to fix the damage Barrie Parkin caused. It has been horrendous living through this, and our lives have been on hold for the last eight years because of him. We don’t want anyone else to go through what we have. Now with this verdict we can finally start to live our lives again.”

Mark Walker, Interim Service Director for Place at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We would like to recognise the courage of the victims in coming forward and working with our Trading Standards Team to support the investigation and court proceedings.

“I would also like to recognise the work of the Trading Standards team as their ongoing investigation of the defendant led to the emergence of three of the victims.

“In all of these cases, works were not carried out to a high standard or were left incomplete, leaving victims to foot the bill to put things right. If you or someone you know has found themselves in a similar situation, we would urge you to seek free advice and report it by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.”

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