A builder who ripped off elderly and vulnerable customers with shoddy work has been forced to compensate his victims.

Jack Murphy of ABC Roofline, who pleaded guilty to six charges of misleading consumers and fraud, received a 12 month suspended prison sentence at Lewes Crown Court.

An arrest warrant has now been issued for his business partner Marcus Crist after he failed to attend court.

Angry customers in Woodingdean and Portslade reported the bad workmanship to Brighton and Hove City Council after the pair did a poor job in fitting a kitchen and after a car port they installed collapsed in high wind.

Investigations into the company’s work began after a resident in Foredown Drive, Portslade, complained about the fitted kitchen.

The resident paid nearly £10,000 to a door-to-door salesman for a kitchen and was charged a further £1,920 for the ceiling to be refurbished.

A Trading Standards-approved electrician who checked the work said it was well below the standard expected while a representative from Howdens kitchen supplies said that the kitchen was the most basic available and priced at around £1,500.

Collapsed car port

A second complaint came from a carer looking after a resident in Cowley Drive, Woodingdean, who was concerned that her client had asked for help in applying for a loan of £6,000 to pay for a car port which then collapsed in high winds.

Another builder approved by Brighton and Hove Trading Standards inspected the work and reported that it was of poor quality and overpriced.

Murphy, 23, of Otterden Street, London, was handed three 12-month prison sentences and three four-month sentences, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay compensation and costs totalling almost £14,000.

A judge also imposed a three-month curfew and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Councillor Ben Duncan, lead member for community safety, said he was pleased the court ordered them to pay back the people they ripped off.

“They failed to amend their working practices and they largely failed to co-operate with our investigation.”

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