Thursday, October 16, 2008

'Inexperienced' builder accused of scamming £800,000

An “unqualified and inexperienced jobbing builder” scammed customers out of almost £800,000 by lying about his qualifications, a court has heard.

Martin Gumbrell, 53, of Bournemouth, is facing three charges of deception and one of obtaining a money transfer by deception following complaints by three customers.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which stem from dates between August 15, 2001 and December 14, 2005, in the Bournemouth Crown Court.

The court heard yesterday Gumbrell was “deliberately dishonest” obtaining building jobs for his firm by telling customers he was a qualified builder with qualifications in building design and had won awards for his modern building systems.

Prosecutor Tim Bradbury said Gumbrell also claimed he employed the same workforce for a number of years and was a member of the National House Building Council.


Inexperienced builder accused of scamming £800,000


None of the claims were true, Bradbury said.

“Far from being a professional builder, it became apparent that the defendant lacked the ability to perform or manage the building projects,” Bradbury said.

The Daily Telegraph reported Gumbrell is alleged to have received ВЈ417,000 to build a home in Poole, Dorset that had defects that would have cost ВЈ450,000 to correct.

He is also claimed to have been paid £350,000 to build a home at Sturminster Newton, Dorset that allegedly “dragged on”.

A third couple near Blandford, Dorset paid £28,000 for a garage and extension but the “site was abandoned” after a mistake, the court heard.

The trial continues.

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