Islington pensioner overcharged £20,500 by rogue builder

Islington Town Hall

Islington Town Hall - Credit: Emma Bartholomew

A rogue builder who quoted a pensioner £35,000 for work worth just a fraction of the price has been ordered to pay her back. 

Islington Council successfully prosecuted Antonio McCarthy, who charged the victim aged in her 80s £20,500 more than he should.   

McCarthy, the sole director of UK Central Builders Ltd, cold-called the woman at her home in Islington in May 2019, about a damp patch in her living room.

He claimed roof work was necessary, and quoted £35,000 for the work, but when the woman said she couldn't pay that much he offered £8,000 reduction.  

A council surveyor has now estimated he should have only charged £6,500.

Much of the work he quoted for wasn't even carried out, and the work he did do was of such a poor standard, it is thought it will cost about £4,000 to repair damage he did to her roof.

McCarthy, 25, of Haringey, pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court on March 17 to two offences under the consumer protection from unfair trading regulations, and was ordered to pay back £20,500 to the victim.    

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He was then sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months at the same court on May 6, ordered to complete 190 hours of rehabilitation activity, and to pay £2,000 toward prosecution costs. 

McCarthy was also handed a five-year criminal behaviour order, prohibiting him from “cold calling” at people’s homes.   

Sentencing, His Honour Judge Holmes said McCarthy had caused more damage to the property than he had fixed, stating that the money he had obtained from the woman was “not for a true purpose”.  

Islington's housing chief, Cllr Diarmaid Ward, said: “McCarthy’s actions were nothing short of shameful, as he preyed on his victim’s vulnerabilities for his own financial benefit.

"It is only right that he be brought to justice and ordered to repay the money that he took from the victim.   

“This case sends out a very clear message that, where rogue builders look to criminally overcharge people for substandard work, they will be held to account by the council and the courts."