A CONTRACTOR made such a mess of building a house extension that he could not get the work approved, and instead handed over forged certificates to cover it.
Once Simon Peacey’s deception was discovered, the owner had to fork out a further £30,000 to get the extension brought up to standard, a judge has heard.
Peacey, age 32, of Starbold Road, Bishops Itchington, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to a charge of fraud by supplying fake electrical installation and building inspection certificates.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years, and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and to pay £300 prosecution costs.
Prosecutor Angus Robertson said Peacey was a contractor who was asked to carry out ‘quite substantial work’ to Mr Cooper’s late father’s home.
Peacey gave a quote of £50,000 for the work on the house in Chapel Street, Bishops Itchington, which included installing central heating, demolishing and rebuilding an extension, and rewiring.
The work, during which Peacey engaged a number of sub-contractors, was carried out between 2015 and 2016, during which costs rose and the final bill came to nearly £70,000.
Mr Cooper had planned to sell the property to help fund his retirement, and once the work was finished, he placed it with estate agents.
In order to sell the house, the agents needed electrical installation and building inspection certificates to cover the work which had been carried out on it.
Peacey first handed over both documents, with the electrical installation certificate purportedly by Warwick-based electrical company.
But Mr Cooper had suspicions about them, and when he contacted the two firms to confirm they had issued the certificates, they said they had not.
When Peacey was arrested and interviewed over the false certificates, he said the work had been carried out by a variety of contractors, but could not provide their names.
He said the certificates had been sent to him by the contractors and, told they had been forged, he claimed he could not explain that, said Mr Robertson.
As a result of the lack of genuine certificates, the sale of the house fell through – and Mr Cooper had to spend a further £30,000 on remedial work.
Nick Devine, defending, suggested that it was ‘a slightly unusual case,’ because had Peacey gone on to obtain the proper certificates, the loss would have been the same because the work would still have had to have been brought up to standard.
“He took on a job in which he was out of his depth.
“The consequence of his work and subsequent consequences of his fraud have been profound.
“It is plainly not a premeditated fraud. He set out with the intention of doing the work properly,” added Mr Devine.
Sentencing Peacey, Judge Murray Creed told him: “Rather than say there were problems with the work straight away, you sought to hide this from the Coopers.
“At the conclusion of the work you produced fraudulent documents in relation to the electrical certification and the building regulations certification.
“It may be that liability is to be shared among others, so I am not going to make an order for compensation, although there may be a civil claim brought against you.
“I accept it was not fraudulent from the outset, but became fraudulent.”