Rogue builder jailed after “destroying” family home

A rogue builder who was paid more than £80,000 to extend a Stourbridge family’s home and improve life for their disabled daughter left it looking like a building site, a court heard.

Aftab and Shazia Alimahomed had to spend a further £30,000 to put right the wreckage left by Lee Millard over five months of hell at their Wynall Lane home.

Millard, of Lowick Drive, Bilston, was this week jailed for three-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to fraud following a prosecution by Dudley Council’s trading standards team. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard the couple remortgaged their home and borrowed cash from family and friends for the extension.

They entered into an agreement with Millard Building Services, the defendant’s company, in late 2019. A price of just over £75,000 was agreed with Millard for the work, the court heard.

The company agreed to build a new kitchen, downstairs bedroom and wet room, as well as a new ramp and patio area to allow the couple’s wheelchair-bound daughter better access around the home and garden.

Five months later, at the end of March 2020, Millard cut off all contact with the family and stopped replying to messages after the couple refused demands to make further payments.

The court heard during the period of work the new kitchen was flooded as rain water seeped into the house through the ceiling due to the roof being left exposed. Workers cut through television cables, bricks fell in and cement was left everywhere. Millard, 37, “bullied” the couple into making payment after payment with the threat that if they didn’t he would not have the funds to continue with the work.

The court heard the family has since paid more than £30,000 to put the work right, with more still needed to complete the job. Their daughter died last year, the court heard, never having had the benefit of the special adaptations that her parents had paid so much for. Christopher King, head of trading standards at Dudley Council, said:

"We welcome the decision of the court to impose a lengthy jail term – this is a very serious case of rogue trading against a family who needed and deserved far better. The family were left with their home decimated and in a dangerous, hazardous state.

"Millard pocketed more than £80,000 and left the home looking like a building site, failing to deliver the new facilities the family’s daughter desperately needed.

"Not only that, he and his workers also managed to destroy the existing facilities, leaving her with nowhere to wash or suitable toilet facilities and cooped up in a small room for four months. 

"The fact she died last year, having never benefitted from the work, makes this case all the more tragic and serious. Millard did an appalling job. 

"I hope this case serves as a warning that we will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute rogue traders – and that seriously shoddy work could land them in jail."

The local authority will now start proceedings through the courts in an attempt to recoup money for the family.


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