Prison for Barnstaple builder who charged customers £38k for work he never finished

Samuel Harvey took thousands of pounds from customers for work he never completed Credit: Devon County Council

A rogue builder who charged people tens of thousands of pounds for work he never completed has been sent to prison.

Samuel Harvey, 32, of Greenbank Road, Barnstaple, defrauded his customers out of approximately £38,000.

He has been jailed for two years eight months at Exeter Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to three offences under the Fraud Act and two offences under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

Between June 2020 and April 2022, Harvey took tens of thousands of pounds from his victims for building or landscaping work he either didn’t start or didn’t complete.

The victims were from Plymouth, Barnstaple, Bideford and Ilfracombe and Bridgend and Swansea in Wales.

The court heard that Harvey had a similar conviction from 2011 relating to an incident in Bristol where he received a suspended 20 week prison sentence.

Judge Richardson said Harvey had "left people feeling guilty and stupid when the fault does not lie with them".

The Judge added: “You left people feeling unsure and insecure as to who to trust.”

Harvey has also been banned from running or managing a business for a 10 years.

Stephen Gardiner, the legal process manager for Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service said: “If you’re looking to have work done then we always advise you get a range of quotes from reputable traders either through recommendations from people you trust or through an approved trader scheme such as our own ‘Buy with Confidence’ scheme.”