Cowboy builder admits ripping off Chessington pensioner for 'sub-standard' work

Coyle will be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court

Coyle will be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A cowboy builder from Chessington has admitted ripping off a pensioner to the tune of almost £13,000.

Hugh Christopher Coyle, 48, of Clayton Road, overcharged the woman, also from Chessington, for shoddy and unnecessary work to her driveway and and garage roof last April.

At one stage he asked for £4,000 and drove his victim to the bank to get it, a court heard.

He even had the cheek to ask for £2,000 for a Cyprus holiday, after he claimed he hurt himself buying tiles for the job.

Coyle, who appeared at Lavender Hill Magistrates' Court last Friday, will be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court in the coming weeks.

Councillor David Glasspool, cabinet member for trading standards, said: "We will come down hard on doorstep cowboys - we don’t want them in Kingston.

"Reputable traders don’t doorstep people, they get work due to their good reputations.

"Never allow yourself to be pressurised into having work done or making payments immediately.

"If you feel threatened, intimidated or harassed call the police. If in doubt, keep them out."

The court heard how Coyle had approached the woman to tell her the driveway was dangerous, and said he could "make a good job of it" - only to be told “no”.

The pensioner, 79, then found him standing on her garage roof, which he also offered to mend for a few hundred pounds.

Coyle returned a few days later with two other men, and claimed even more work was needed, quoting a price of £11,700.

Coyle, who claimed he is illiterate, did not provide a written quote or any paperwork, but asked for advance payments.

His victim, who eventually handed over £12,900, began withdrawing £300 a day, and was not given receipts.

After Coyle said he found damp in the attic and therefore needed a total of £19,000, the woman grew concerned and called the police, who contacted Trading Standards.

A chartered surveyor hired by Kingston Council found his work was "sub-standard and very poor" - and worth £4,000 at most.

To report a cowboy builder, call the Citizens' Advice Bureau on 03454 040 506.

Comments (1)

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6:57am Thu 4 Sep 14

Imigrante says...

Money or properties of this cowboy builder should be seized to pay off the pensioner for all the stress and grief she has suffered. No point in giving him short jail sentence. He will be back in business soon, Just a quick change of company name.
Money or properties of this cowboy builder should be seized to pay off the pensioner for all the stress and grief she has suffered. No point in giving him short jail sentence. He will be back in business soon, Just a quick change of company name. Imigrante
  • Score: 13
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