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Builder Mark Everett admits fraud over Bury St Edmunds home extension

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A builder has pleaded guilty to fraud after causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to a Bury St Edmunds home.

Mark Everett, 51, of Whepstead Road, Hawstead, admitted to engaging in fraudulent commercial practice at Ipswich Crown Court this morning (Monday, February 25).

Mitchell Cohen, prosecuting, said the victim Liz Cummins is left needing to make repair work of more than £100,000 after the incident, which took place from June 2016.

Ipswich Crown Court. (7409267)
Ipswich Crown Court. (7409267)

Suffolk Trading Standards took Everett to court over the matter, after being approached by Ms Cummins – whose house the builder had attempted to modify in Garland Street, Bury.

Afterwards the victim expressed her ‘relief’ at the result – having said an extension they had asked Everett to complete left the house in an unsafe state.

“I did not think he would plead guilty,” said Ms Cummins, who was joined by members of her family in court.

“I am relieved, it was very stressful. It has gone on for more than two years. It was a big day for us.”

She added: “I have got a rough idea for the sentence, we would like to be reimbursed as we need to get the work done to rectify the house. It will cost more than £100,000 to put it right.”

The builder, wearing a dark jacket and check shirt, spoke only to confirm his name and enter his plea.

Judge John Devaux adjourned his sentencing for the week of April 1.

Everett has been released on bail to that date.

Councillor Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said:

“This is another excellent result from the work carried out by Suffolk Trading Standards officers. We will not tolerate this type of rogue trading in our county, especially when they prey on the most vulnerable in our society. A guilty plea shows his criminality and it has saved Mr Everett’s victim from having to re-live the traumatic experience again in court.

“If anyone is in dispute with a business, we would encourage them to contact the National Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506, to obtain guidance.”