A rogue builder who scammed Milton Keynes homeowners out of thousands of pounds for work he didn’t complete has been jailed for two and a half years following a successful investigation by Trading Standards at MK Council.
Darren Edwards, director of Remi Willow Limited, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraudulent trading and one count of fraud by false representation, and was sentenced to a 30-month spell in prison and disqualified from being a director for 10 years.
Edwards, who had been served a conditional discharge in 2018 by MK Council for similar offences, operated Northamptonshire-based construction company Remi Willow Limited, through which he took payments in excess of £84,000 for several building projects in Milton Keynes between May 2018 and June 2019.
Edwards’ offending involved accepting large deposits for work which he never completed, while lying to his customers about delays and often requesting more money using emotional blackmail. In one case, Edwards left a victim without a kitchen for more than five months, including over the Christmas period, and eventual repair and reconstruction costs of over £55,000.
During Edwards’ sentencing at Aylesbury Crown Court on 12 May 2021, HHJ Tulk referred to the need to ‘deter anyone else from committing similar offences, and further the need to protect members of the public from the actions of people like Edwards. Only an immediate prison sentence would reflect the seriousness of the offending.’
Sue Crawley, Trading Standards Manager at MK Council said: “It’s very disappointing that despite being found guilty of previous rogue trading, Edwards decided within weeks that he would continue with that type of illegal activity. However, the sentence now imposed reflects the seriousness of his offending.
“We don’t tolerate rogue traders in Milton Keynes, and I hope this sentence shows how hard we’ll work to bring them to justice. I would urge anyone who has similar issues to report the matter to us on 0808 223 1133.”