Rogue builder sent to prison

Craig Baker, the Sole director of Elite Construction & Plastering Limited and Elite Plastering & Construction Limited, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court this week having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of fraudulent trading.

The charges, brought by Carmarthenshire County Council, revolved around Baker’s false representations and fraudulent practices in his construction dealings. Count 1, covering the period between 1st July 2021 and 11th May 2022, involved falsely representing initial quotes as the total cost of works, misrepresenting the value of works, and falsely undertaking to complete works to a standard of a reasonably competent professional builder. Count 2, from 26th July 2021 to 27th April 2022, included overcharging, further false representations of work value, and falsely undertaking to complete works to a specified standard.

An investigation by Carmarthenshire Trading Standards revealed that Baker, with registered office addresses at Spilman Street, Carmarthen, and Is-Y-Llan, Llanddarog, had defrauded consumers of more than £30,000 for building work.

In one case, Baker put up a conservatory at a property, which an expert witness surveyor later said had no value and required removal and rebuilding. The surveyor went on to describe the construction details as “some of the worst” encountered in their 24 years of surveying.

His Honour Judge Paul Thomas KC sentenced Craig Baker to 3 years and 4 months in prison, with a 20% credit reducing the term to 32 months (2 years and 8 months). Baker will serve half of this sentence before being released on license.

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