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Judge warns 'dodgy' builder he will 'come down on him like a ton of bricks'

By EvansTheCrime  |  Posted: January 13, 2017

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Builder Darren Broad was described at Swansea Crown Court as a 'thoroughly dishonest man'

Builder Darren Broad was described at Swansea Crown Court as a 'thoroughly dishonest man'

A "DODGY" builder who breached a court order designed to stop him conning customers has avoided jail after going back to his "old tricks".

In 2015 Darren Broad was jailed and made the subject of Criminal Behaviour Order — known as a Crasbo — for previous offences.

The terms of the Crasbo mean he has to provide full documentation and receipts to all customers for any work he undertakes, and is banned from asking for money up-front for jobs.

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Swansea Crown Court heard that after release from prison he again began doing building and general maintenance work under the name "The Moss Man".

Catherine Richards, prosecuting, said in July last year Broad did some gutter clearing work for a customer — without proving her with the necessary paperwork — which she paid for, and he then said he would replace wooden fence panels in her garden. He asked the woman for money up-front for the job — saying he needed to buy the panels — and accompanied her to a Tesco cash machine to withdraw £180.

The court heard he subsequently bought the panels — but never installed them.

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Miss Richards said the customer repeatedly tried to call Broad to find out what was happening, but couldn't get an answer. The following month she contacted the council's trading standards department, and the police then became involved.

Broad, aged 40, of Penrhiwtyn Street, Penrhiwtyn, Neath, had previously pleaded guilty to breaching a Crasbo when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

Robin Rouch, for Broad, said his client's failure to provide the required paperwork was a "technical" breach of the Crasbo, and that there was no suggestion the initial maintenance work he had done had not been of a satisfactory standard or done for an unfair price.

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He said his client had then bought the garden panels intending to do the work, and accepted he should have fitted them — or at the very least spoken to the customer to explain any problems he was having with the job.

The barrister said his client "finds it hard" to fully comply with the terms of the Crasbo, and so was giving up that line of work and becoming a cameraman's assistant instead.

Judge Paul Thomas QC described Broad as a "dodgy builder" who took advantage of people to make money, and who had returned to his "old tricks" after release from prison.

The judge told him: "I consider you to be a thoroughly dishonest man."

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Broad was sentenced to a total of 26 weeks in prison suspended for two years, and ordered to complete a rehabilitation course and to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work. He must also repay the £180 to his victim.

The judge warned Broad that if he committed any offences during the course of the suspended sentence he would be brought back before him to be dealt with.

He said: "It will be no surprise to you who you will be looking at across the court — and to use a phrase you will be familiar with as a builder, I will come down on you like a ton of bricks."

Jason Evans / jason.evans@swwmedia.co.uk / @EvansTheCrime

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