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Builder jailed for ‘appalling’ work and faking registration

A builder whose work was described as appalling has been sentenced to nine months in prison. Sam Hart from Portsmouth also falsely claimed to be registered with Gas Safe Register and NICEIC and used their logos even though he was not allowed to do so.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard that in 2018, Mr Hart, trading as Mac and Hart Developments Ltd, agreed to build a loft extension rear dormer and a new single storey rear extension. The work failed to comply with building regulations: the pitch of the roof of the extension was too shallow, resulting in its leaking at the pivot windows. The standard of workmanship to the roof was also very poor, the court heard.

His customer had to pay around £11,000 to remedy the work and eventually sold the property at a loss because the pitch of the roof was never rectified.

Mr Hart went on to form another company, Harkins Construction, and in January 2020 agreed to fully refurbish a property in Fareham for £120,000. The work was never completed: Mr Hart diverted funds paid for the work to help liquidate his previous company and to hire luxury cars. The property owners had to spend a further £50,000 to complete the work on their property.

Sam Hart of Langley Road, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to six offences contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, contravening the requirements of professional diligence, failing to provide cancellation notices to consumers, and unauthorised use of the Gas Safe Register and NICEIC logos.

Judge Melville QC said during the sentencing: “The facts of this case are awful… It was a most appalling series of events…. You let them down; this is appalling and clearly crosses the custody threshold.”

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