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Homeowner admitted sending builder jokey message to say his 'kneecaps were safe' after complaining about his work

PUBLISHED: 14:31 09 January 2019 | UPDATED: 18:17 09 January 2019

John and Catherine Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court.  Picture: Archant

John and Catherine Miller leaving Norwich Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Archant

A homeowner, who claimed he was left with a litany of problems at a £20,000 bungalow renovation, denied he had ever issued any threats to the builder but admitted sending him a jokey message to say that his kneecaps were safe, a court heard.

John Miller, of Three Mile Lane, Costessey, specialises in house extensions, but customers have complained about nine of his projects, costing £250,000 in total.

The 46-year-old is on trial for fraudulent trading and money laundering, which he denies.

One of his customers, Michael Wright told a Norwich Crown Court jury how Miller was hired in October 2013 for a job on their Attleborough home.

He and his wife Susan paid Miller £21,500 to strip and renovate the bungalow and were told the work would last about three months.

But six months later in April 2015 when completed, they found a series of problems with the work and had to pay £9,200 for repair work.

Giving evidence Mr Wright, who now works as a canine behaviourist, said that there was a number of delays and problems and Miller had kept offering excuses.

“One excuse was that the plumber could not be in as he had injured himself playing football.”

He said that he had tried to seek remedies but felt let down by broken promises and said that it was hard to get Miller on the phone so most exchanges were usually by e-mail.

He said that while the renovations were going on they had been living in Cheshire, and he had trusted Miller to do the work.

He said originally they intended to sell the bungalow but then moved into it themselves and it was then he said they realised the problems with the quality of some of the work.

Mr Wright denied he ever issued threats to Miller over the work but admitted that in one e-mail after Miller had finally agreed to carry out some requests he had replied by saying: “Your knee-caps are safe!” which was accompanied by a smiley face emoji.

He said: “That was a joke and was taken as a joke.”

Miller’s wife Catherine, 38, has also been charged with money laundering which she also denies.

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