Morecambe rogue trader's jail term will 'spur on' former victim who is campaigning for building regulation changes to protect homeowners
A woman whose home was wrecked by a rogue trader has voiced her frustration after he was jailed again for similar offences.
Paula De Santana, from Morecambe, launched a campaign called 'Licensed to Build' to urge the Government and organisations like the Federation of Builders to make it mandatory for anyone doing work on domestic properties to be regulated, after conman Daniel Ward left her facing repair bills of thousands of pounds.
Ward, 33, from Morecambe, has just been jailed for two years for fleecing two older women in Morecambe out of their life savings in summer 2018 for shoddy roofing work that he overcharged them for, and never completed.
Miss De Santana says it has spurred her on with her mission, despite the pandemic affecting her progress.
Ward had already served part of a three year jail term for a wounding and 12 unfair trading crimes involving six victims earlier in 2018, including aggressively confronting Miss De Santana in her nightwear at 10.50pm and demanding the balance of her roofing work bill, with three men waiting in a car.
She had been lured into having extensive work done on her roof and driveway after spotting his advert, which contained false endorsement logos, and halfway through the £8,000 job, Ward told her the roof needed replacing at a further £6,000.
While behind bars Ward was hauled before Carlisle Crown Court in July 2019 for ripping off an elderly woman in January 2018 and had two months added to his sentence.
He was due to be released in December 2019.
Today, Miss De Santana said: " "How much has he stolen out of people? How many families are affected? In my case alone there were five families, and I know of another three he took money from.
" Only this year I managed to fix the front of my house and that is because I did it myself as I couldn't afford to pay someone else to do it. I laid my own drive, sorted my own brickwork, and I am still having problems with my roof. Despite it being done just three years ago, and patched by another company it's looking like I will have to have the whole thing redone.
"It honestly makes my blood boil."
The License to Build campaign has been on hold because of Covid, and the government appears unwilling to make long-term rulings at this time.
For the moment, Paula and her supporters are encouraging councils who award grants for home improvements to only award work to registered contractors.
She added: " I had a lot of homeowners, who were too scared to speak publicly for fear of retaliation from their rogue builders, contact me privately.
"I would like to let them know that together as a consumer group we have a voice. This campaign proves that and they can get involved and support it locally in the safety of numbers by contacting their MPs and getting honest builder friends to get involved. "
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