Stroud builder admits wrongly charging a customer
By Court reporter | 18th August 2020
A Stroud builder who has admitted wrongly charging a customer for work and materials for her extension has been bailed to await sentence at Gloucester crown court next week.
Paul Ostle, 46, of Stonecote Ridge, Bussage, pleaded guilty last Friday (Aug 14th) to invoicing customer Rachel Hanks on Oct 25th 2017 for a Velux window that was not installed.
He also admitted wrongly charging her for garage windows and doors on January 22nd 2018; a shower screen on March 12, 2018 and windows to the value of £1,800 on April 27, 2018.
Ostle was further charged with participation in fraudulent business practices between October 24th 2017 and April 28th 2018 by obtaining money from a customer by providing misleading information and wrongly charging for 'building regs.'
He denied all elements of the charge except the element referring to making an application for building regulations.
His pleas were accepted by the prosecution.
Steve Young, defending, told the court "Mr Ostle was involved in an extension project in which the client, Rachel Hanks, constantly changed her mind over several months.
"He was carrying out work on an extension and he would submit an invoice, which contained various elements of work, some completed and some proposed work.
"The client then kept changing the criteria over the proposed work and revising the plans so that a number of the original requirements were no longer needed and did not need to be installed.
"Ostle accepts that he invoiced the client for building regulation approval but had not completed that application when he was told to leave the project all together.
"Ostle was never given the chance to finish the job, having undertaken a lot of work on the project. When this work came to an end there were a number of outstanding invoices which the client never paid.
"Ostle claims he is still owed £6,000 for the work he did carry out. The monies he did receive were effectively deposits.
"But where he went wrong was rather than asking for deposits he submitted an invoice for work done."
The hearing was adjourned so that pre-sentence reports can be prepared on Ostle, who was released on unconditional bail until Aug 28.
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