A ROGUE builder has been sentenced to 19 months imprisonment following a successful prosecution by Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Trading Standards.

Derek Alan Bradshaw, 55, who has previous convictions for similar crimes, operated from addresses in Cavendish Street, Darwen and Albert Street, Bolton.

The prosecution was brought by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Trading Standards for three counts of fraudulent trading under section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 – one of which was committed whilst he was on bail awaiting trial for similar offences.

The case was heard last month at Preston Crown Court.

The prosecution case in relation to the first two counts against Bradshaw was that he took payments from two victims totalling £38,000 before he completed the works but then failed to complete them, leaving one premises in a dangerous condition and the other uninhabitable.

The court was informed that the first victim paid Bradshaw £20,000 to do extensive work to a shop premise in Darwen. He then demolished the extension at the back of the shop leaving all the debris and bricks in the footings, erected scaffolding to the front and did a small amount of work on the roof but then did nothing else, leaving the shop in a dangerous condition.

The second victim borrowed £18,000 for extensive work to their ‘forever home’, which was never completed. Bradshaw failed to deliver and install windows, doors, patio doors, flooring and a bathroom.

The court was told the family was left “virtually homeless” as he left the house uninhabitable and that the family had been left devastated.

He was sentenced to 19 months and 18 months for each count, to be served concurrently.

For the third count against him the court was informed that Bradshaw failed to pay a roofing contractor to whom he had subcontracted some roofing work.

He had given the roofer three cheques in order to try to pay a debt of £1,500 to him on sequential dates, all of which were dishonoured.

For this he was sentenced to an additional 12 months to be served concurrently.

Speaking after the hearing, Cllr Jim Smith, Executive Member for Environment, said: "To have committed these offences whilst already on bail shows his contempt both for the law and his victims.

"These fraudulent acts have had deep and devastating impacts on those innocent people he preyed on.

"I hope this prosecution goes some way to helping the victims know that he hasn’t got away lightly with what he has done."

Bradshaw was previously prosecuted by Blackburn with Darwen Trading Standards in 2015 and was jailed for 27 months for fraudulent trading and trading whilst insolvent and committed these further three offences while on bail awaiting sentence.