Tradesman who defrauded people of £28k jailed

Douglas Courthouse on the Isle of Man

A tradesman who took money for work he did not complete has been jailed for two years.

Craig Brown, 30, accepted deposits totalling £28,600 from 13 separate victims for work he failed to carry out between September 2021 and September 2022.

Douglas Courthouse heard in some cases he left work unfinished and in others had not started it at all, often messaging clients giving reasons for delays before stopping contact with them altogether.

Jailing Brown, Deemster Graeme Cook said there were "no good reasons" to suspend the sentence.

'Way over his head'

A self-employed tradesman, Brown ran the firm Nexus Joinery and Property Maintenance between September 2021 and September 2022.

During the period he gave quotes and took deposits from 13 individuals and families, telling them the money was to buy materials to carry out the work.

The court heard the amounts handed over to him ranged from £365 to £13,000.

Brown left the island in September 2022 but was spoken to by Derbyshire police in March 2023 and was arrested after returning to the island on 10 May the same year.

Bank account records showed during the period he was running the firm a total of £136,500 was deposited into his bank account.

Of the payments made from the account, £31,900 was believed to have been to have been paid to suppliers, with a £55,900 attributed to Brown's lifestyle, which included gambling and spending in pubs, and a further £15,000 taken out in cash withdrawals, the court was told.

He later pleaded guilty to 13 counts of fraud by false representation.

The court heard Brown had not intended to take money without doing the work but issues in his family life had put strain on him and he admitted he had "squandered" the money.

His defence advocate said the 30-year-old had finished other jobs and had good reviews, but was a gambling addict who had "got in way over his head".

In a statement read to the court, one of his victims said the experience had "destroyed" their confidence in tradesman, while another said losing their money had left them with "stress and anxiety".

Related internet links