Builder is Jailed

A BUILDER who conned elderly residents out of more than �20,000 for shoddy building work has been jailed for six months. Thomas Shanahan, 48, of Wilsham Street, Notting Hill, was found guilty of two charges of obtaining property by deception and fraud by

A BUILDER who conned elderly residents out of more than �20,000 for shoddy building work has been jailed for six months.

Thomas Shanahan, 48, of Wilsham Street, Notting Hill, was found guilty of two charges of obtaining property by deception and fraud by false representation, after taking money from two elderly residents in Brent.

Both victims had paid a large amount of money to Shanahan, one paying �17,500 in cash and the other paying �3,000, before he completed a small amount of poor quality work and then walked away, leaving behind cards and invoices bearing a false address.

Brent and Harrow Trading Standards traced the fraudster to his mother's address in Kensington and Chelsea, where he was arrested.


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In an interview with police and trading officers Shanahan initially claimed he had carried out work to the value of the sums paid and that he had previously lived at the address on his cards, but eventually pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court, where he was handed a six month prison sentence and ordered to pay �1,000 costs.

Bill Bilon, director of Brent and Harrow Trading Standards, said: "This case is one of the worst possible examples of a bogus builder deceiving and defrauding the public and let it be a warning to those who try to exploit the vulnerable in their homes that they will face harsh punishment.

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"I also hope this raises awareness and puts residents on their guard against such rogues. Our advice is simple. Do not deal with those who call at your door unannounced.

"If you want work done on your property then seek several quotes and recommendations from friends and family. Agree a price and staged payments and get everything in writing.

"Most importantly, contact Trading Standards if you think things might be going wrong - we are there to help you."

sofia.mitra-thakur@archant.co.uk

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