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Rogue builder jailed after council-led investigation

Published: Friday, 9th March 2018

A rogue builder who defrauded residents and left homeowners without windows or a roof after failing to complete projects has been jailed for six years.

Stuart Regent conned four homeowners in the borough out of around £250,000 with a series of scams when he overcharged them for carrying out building works he never completed.

Regent was handed the longest jail sentence ever secured by the council’s trading standards team after a lengthy trial.

Trading standards officers from the Royal Borough began investigating Regent’s behaviour in March 2015 after one of his victims complained of unfinished and overcharged building work.

During the long and complex investigation they found four homes in the borough and one in Buckinghamshire that Regent had failed to complete work at.

One resident paid Regent to build an extension, but was left without windows or electricity when he abandoned the project after charging them more than £100,000.

Another victim was left without a finished roof or flooring and no internal plastering after asking Regent to renovate their home. The builder charged his victims thousands of pounds more than he should have done for the work.

Cllr Jesse Grey, cabinet member for environmental services (inc. parking and flooding), said: “I am very pleased at this outcome and the sentence is the longest we have secured.

“This has been a lengthy and complex investigation and I want to thank officers for the extensive time they have put into this to protect the public from this conman.

“Regent’s crimes have had a profound impact on his victims and I hope this conviction provides some measure of closure to them.

“The scale and breadth of offending enabled our officers to prosecute Regent under the Fraud Act which carries a higher maximum sentence.”

Regent, who also went by the name Rasala, appeared at Reading Crown Court accused of five counts of fraud contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.

A jury unanimously found the 60-year-old guilty of each count at the end of a five-week trial on Thursday 15 February.

Regent, of Dockett Eddy, Chertsey, Surrey, was sentenced to six years in prison at Reading Crown Court on Friday 2 March.

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