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Rogue builder facing jail after £26,000 botched loft conversion

The loft conversion at Diane McDonald's home in Cardiff Credit: Cardiff Council

A court has heard that a retired woman was forced back into work after a builder charged almost £26,000 for a botched loft conversion.

Marc Foley, a director of MAF Construction and Sons Ltd which is now dissolved, appeared at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to three charges under Consumer Protection Regulations.

Marc Foley Credit: Cardiff Council

Foley from Allensbank Road in Heath was paid £25,650 in cash from Diane McDonald in November 2015 to build a loft conversion at her home in Cyncoed, Cardiff.

The court heard that Mrs McDonald has had to have psychiatric help with the stress that has been caused by Mr Foley.

In December 2016, leaks started appearing around the chimney and there were issues with the radiators.

Cardiff Council’s Building Control Officers found the work didn’t meet the required standards and there wasn’t a guarantee for the works.

Mrs McDonald had to pay an additional £27,000 to a different company for the work to be rectified to meet building standards.

He was a family friend and I trusted him and I was assured that he would be able to carry out the work.

I am devastated, I had only just retired and I have had to go back to work to sort all this out.

– Diane McDonald

District Judge Bodfan Jenkins described the situation as a particularly serious case:

The work was built in a sloppy manner, ignoring building techniques which could cause significant harm.

This is a case, in my view, where an element of deception fraud has taken place, this is when someone comes along and doesn’t carry out the work properly. There is, in my view, a sprinkling of this in this case and due to this, this case goes way beyond financial penalty.

I am in the view that this has to go to the Crown Court, it is so serious that custody is required based on the issues that are before me.

– District Judge Bodfan Jenkins
The work undertaken by Marc Foley Credit: Cardiff Council

After asking Mr Foley to stand to his feet, District Judge Bodfan Jenkins said:

Marc Foley you acted dishonestly, failed to deal with the issues appropriately, failed to honour a guarantee and your work was way below the standards and dangerously so.

– District Judge Bodfan Jenkins

Marc Foley was given bail and ordered to attend Cardiff Crown Court on November 23rd.