A ‘COWBOY’ builder’s shoddy work on a new conservatory left a householder several thousand pounds out of pocket, a court heard.

Such was the poor standard of workmanship on the new £6,400 extension to his Leadgate home, near Consett, that the customer had to pay another builder to complete the job properly.

He complained to trading standards about the work performed by David Scott Thompson and has since won a small claims court ruling against his building firm, Energy Solution Home Improvements.

But, Durham Crown Court was told despite the judgement, the £4,358 awarded to the householder remains unpaid as the company has gone into liquidation.

Thompson, 72, of Chopwell Gardens, Gateshead, admitting engaging in commercial practice contrary to professional diligence and engaging in misleading commercial practice over the work on the conservatory.

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, said the victim used Thompson’s services having kept a previous flyer posted by Energy Solution Home Improvements, but some of the claims on the literature were, “simply untrue”.

Thompson claimed the work would take a fortnight and agreed a price of £5,600, but it took six weeks and the bill rose to £6,400, with a slight change of specification by the customer.

Mr Faulks said the roof was not fitted properly, steps were out of line with a door, the floor and plaster work were not level, while panes in the conservatory were out of line.

Gutters were covered by boards and a bedroom window could no longer be opened.

Following complaints, Thompson did make some small improvements, but could not, thereafter, be contacted.

The householder paid another builder £5,200 to carry out remedial work, with the whole project costing him £9,700.

Angus Taylor, mitigating, said Thompson is now on benefits and has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Mr Taylor said Thompson’s only previous conviction was an old motoring matter and he was unaware of any other complaints about his work.

But, Judge Jonathan Carroll said he appeared to have run “a cowboy operation”, with the work on the conservatory, “dangerous, shoddy and beyond repair”.

Due to his age and, “significant health issues”, however, the judge imposed a 12-month community order, with ten probation-supervised activity sessions. Thompson was also made subject of a three-month 8pm to 8am home curfew and must pay £500 compensation.