If there is one line of work that is derided all across the United Kingdom, building would definitely be one of them. For some people, builders are the sort of men who can be found on scaffolding leering at women passing by as they make loud and obnoxious comments. For other people, builders are commonly referred to as “cowboys”. With respect to the Wild West, cowboys were heroes but in this turn of events, cowboys are the bad guys. Cowboy builders are ones that do low quality work, costing people a lot of money and a great deal of stress and hassle.
It should be pointed out that the vast majority of builders in the UK are neither cowboys or the ones that leer and make lecherous comments at women but all it takes is a small minority and this is the overall impression that some people will take. This is why it is important to make an example that cause these negative images and impressions to be made of a company or way of work. This is why there will be plenty of builders who will be glad to hear that a cowboy builder has been sent to jail. They would obviously have preferred for the builder not to have acted in this manner in the first place but now that the builder has been referred to as a cowboy, receiving a severe punishment will be deemed as being a positive thing by most people in this sector.
A lot of money was taken for little or no work
David Kemp managed to defraud a strong of customers, pocketing over £40,000 for himself. He would take sizable deposits from clients as a down payment for materials and work that would be carried but he would then not carry out the work or carry out the work to a substandard level. At the trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Kemp, from Sunderland, eventually pleaded guilty to 19 separate charges of fraud and falsely claiming employment support allowance. The prosecution was raised by the Trading Standards Department of the City Council. The investigation into Kemp began in 2013 with the companies Double Vision and D&G Builders being investigated. There was also a joint investigation carried out in Kent where Kemp was trading as David Chisnell of Southern Vision.
The court heard how Kemp claimed close to £20,000 in employment support allowance, council tax benefits and housing benefits between 2012 and 2014. During this time, Kemp claimed that he wasn’t working, which was obviously not the case, at least with respect to the income he was bringing in. He could argue that he never actually carried out much work, if any on behalf of his clients but this isn’t likely to be the sort of defence that would have went down too well in court.
This prison sentence will act as a warning to others
In the end Kemp was sentenced to 4 years in prison, which will hopefully reinforce the fact that working in this manner can be extremely serious. If other builders were contemplating acting in a similar manner, they will hopefully be persuaded that this is a bad idea and that they would be much better off providing their clients with a fair and reasonable service. This would be much better for the entire industry as a whole and it can only be hoped that a few people will have received a warning from this style of punishment.
There is no getting away from the fact that cowboy builders can have a very damaging impact on the reputation of the building community and industry. While most people understand that there are many positive firms and builders to work with, the difficult aspect can be in finding which company is the one to work with. Anything which severely punishes a firm for behaving in a negative manner has to be seen as a good thing, hopefully acting as a deterrent against other people acting in the same manner.
It can be difficult to provide a defence at times like this, especially when there is so much strong evidence against a person, but a good defence solicitor will always be able to find some form of mitigation and defence. It is crucial that professionals are represented in an effective manner and no matter the nature of the crime, a reliable defence solicitor will look for the facts and provide the best standard of representation possible.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.