City Watch


A rogue builder who bullied customers and conned them out of thousands of pounds has been jailed.

Stephen Shergold, of Locke Avenue, Rushey Mead, preyed on victims - including two widows - earning their trust before pocketing the advance payments.

But the 64-year-old, who has 21 previous convictions including some dishonesty offences, either did not do the jobs promised, did it badly or charged for work which was totally unnecessary. Yesterday, after he was jailed for two years, the two widows wept with relief. One of them, who did not wish to be named, said: "We have lived through six years of hell because of this man. He bullied us and caused us great anxiety. We are glad that justice has been done. This is a day we did not think we would see."

Leicester Crown Court heard that Shergold targeted four families in the Belgrave area of Leicester.

Ben Mills, prosecuting, said two widows approached Shergold to build an extension and a summer house in memory of their husbands. One woman hoped the extension would be ready for a service to mark the first anniversary of her husband's death. That did not happen and the other widow had to go without water at Christmas because of Shergold's poor work. When they complained, he was rude and aggressive and claimed they owed him money. Two other families also fell foul of Shergold over house improvements. Mr Mills said the victims paid around £10,000 to Shergold. But they also had to pay extra to builders to complete or rectify what Shergold did. The court was told Shergold had previously been made bankrupt three times. He admitted seven charges of fraud committed between late 2009 and late 2011.

Anthony Rimmer, for Shergold, said his client was sorry for what had happened. He said Shergold was an old fashioned builder dealing in cash and could not cope with modern practices. He said his client had given up being a builder and was now a long distance lorry driver.

Judge Head told Shergold: "You are a serial bankrupt. At times you are an intentionally dishonest man. You also bullied the people you preyed upon when they challenged you about what had happened to their money."

City council head of business regulation Roman Leszczyszyn added: "We are extremely pleased with the verdict and that the judge took into account the stress and emotional impact that this fraud had on the victims."

Details from Leicester Mercury









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