May 25 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A rogue trader whose attempts to repair a driveway cost his customer thousands of pounds has been warned to turn his life around or risk becoming “an old lag”.
A trader whose attempts to repair a driveway cost his customer thousands of pounds has been warned to turn his life around or risk becoming “an old lag”.
Unqualified builder Phillip Holborn, 38, was jailed for five months yesterday for criminal damage and absconding, to be added to a five-year sentence he began serving four weeks ago for grievous bodily harm.
Holborn, of Llanelli, agreed to wash and seal a driveway in Bernham Road in Norwich in March last year for a 66-year-old homeowner and her 90-year-old father.
But when it came to doing the work, Holborn and his team damaged the drive, a bracket and downpipe, estimated to cost £1,750.
Two other workers were sentenced to 12 months in prison in December 2011 after admitting conspiring to defraud the customer by charging for unnecessary work totalling £4,700.
Judge Peter Jacobs yesterday told Holborn, who was sentenced to five years on October 4, he risked “wasting” his life.
“You are doing five years now, and you did four years in 1997. That’s a long time. If you go on like this you are just going to turn yourself into an old lag,” he said.
“You’re going to be over 40 when you get out, and you only get one shot at this life.”
Holborn pleaded guilty to criminal damage and absconding, for failing to attend court in October 2011. Charges of fraud and theft will lie on file.
Prosecutor John Farmer said Holborn had negotiated fairly for the initial work but the other workmen – though not Holborn – then started haggling over additional work.
“Put simply, it was a scam: to do work that was unnecessary at a ridiculous price,” said Mr Farmer.
Caroline Hoggett-Jones, mitigating, said Holborn had not been aware of the scam and had attempted to carry out the work properly, though admitted none of the men were qualified for the job.
She added: “He was guilty of burying his head in the sand and not opening his eyes to what was going on around him.”