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Damp proofing rouge trader sentenced to jail.

September 7th, 2013

Accreditations / Associations, All posts, Damp / Rising Damp / Damp Proofing /, Guarantees, Surveying

There should  be no greater reason for doing your homework when searching for a damp specialist than this latest example.  A Coventry conman who conned elderly victims in the Midlands out of thousands of pounds for unnecessary damp work. Do your research and avoid the conmen, visit the PCA (Property Care Association) website for a professionally recognised, approved, credible damp specialist and avoid the cowboys.

A coventry conman threatens to jump from bridge minutes before due in court for sentencing.

















A ROGUE trader has been remanded in custody after threatening to kill himself just minutes before he was set to be sentenced for conning elderly victims in Coventry and the rest of the Midlands.

A ROGUE trader has been remanded in custody after threatening to kill himself just minutes before he was set to be sentenced for conning elderly victims in Coventry and the rest of the Midlands.

Sean Stewart was supposed to be sentenced at Warwick Crown Court for fraud – but sparked a search after disappearing from the building just as his case was due to be heard on Wednesday.

Almost an hour after going AWOL, Stewart – who overcharged customers thousands of pounds for damp work and fooled others into thinking they needed jobs doing when they did not – returned to the court room looking rain-drenched and dishevelled in a mud-stained suit.

Adrian Langdale, defending, said: “Can I apologise for this delay; my client and his girlfriend have just tried to kill themselves.

“They have been standing on a bridge, contemplating jumping off.”

Judge Alan Parker said he “had no choice” but to delay sentencing to a date yet to be fixed and refused bail, while also urging prison guards leading Stewart to the cells to put him on suicide watch.

At a previous hearing, the court heard how Stewart was first arrested back in 2009 after a number of consumers complained the so-called damp specialist had fleeced them out of money.

The Central England Trading Standards Scambuster Team launched a probe after more disgruntled customers began to complain last year, said proecutor Martin Liddiard.

One included 82-year-old Nora Etherington, of Coventry, who has been suffering from anxiety ever since she was first visited by Stewart back in May 2009.

He eventually refunded her £190 after she smelled a rat and told him she had changed her mind about work he planned to do to her property – which experts later deemed would have been unnecessary anyway.

Another victim was 82-year-old Reginald Rigby, from Staffordshire, who was cold-called by Stewart in October 2011. He quoted him £14,000 to fix ‘damp’ throughout his home – a staggering £10,500 more than it should have cost.

Mr Liddiard added: “An independent building surveyor said it was inconceivable that any tradesman should have charged such a price for the work needed.

“The defendant would have got away with it too, but he got greedy.”

He said bank staff finally raised the alarm when Mr Rigby went to withdraw more cash when Stewart told him he owed an extra £2,700 in VAT – despite not even being VAT registered.

He said the 48-year-old, who previously pleaded guilty to four charges of fraud, targeted many victims from as north as Sheffield to as south as Coventry, through his firm Stewart Construction, which has now ceased trading.

Adrian Langdale, defending, said Stewart, of Hucknall Road, Nottingham, turned to alcohol and suffered from depression ever since his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“As a result he had difficulties managing all aspects of his life,” he added.

“He accepts fully what he has done and he is terrified of the concept of going to prison.”

When in need of expert advice for damp diagnosis and repair don’t hesitate to ask, call “Yorkshires Leading Damp & Timber Specialists”Dryfix Preservation Ltd. We are full members of the Property Care Association, our surveyors are fully qualified and all our workforce are Qualified remedial Technicians.

To find out more about our company, our accreditation’s and understand what all the association badges mean visit our accreditation’s page on the website or read our blog article members of the associations that matter.

Many thanks


Russell Rafton

C.S.R.T / I.S.S.E

Dryfix Preservation Surveyor



Article originally written by the Coventry Telegraph


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