A MAN who runs a property services business building conservatories, doors and other house extensions has admitted defrauding customers and engaging in misleading commercial practices.

Paul Phillips appeared at Durham Crown Court facing ten charges in a prosecution brought by Durham County Council’s trading standards department.

They relate to alleged cases of fraud and misleading commercial practices, most dating from last year, but two spanning a period from February to October this year.

The case was adjourned from a plea hearing last month which was adjourned to see if the prosecution and defence representatives could reach any resolution.

Defence counsel Chris Baker told the court, at the outset of the latest hearing: “This matter was adjourned to see if it could be resolved satisfactorily between the parties.”

He asked for the indictment to be put to his client.

The defendant admitted two of the five fraud charges, relating to a client who believed Phillips had bought a shed to install on his behalf, and the supply of windows worth £3,400 to another customer.

He also admitted two counts of engaging in misleading commercial practices over building work not compliant with regulations, plus the purchase and installation of double glazing, in another case.

Phillip Morley, for the council, said those pleas were “acceptable” to the prosecution.

Mr Baker said the 64-year-old defendant, of Brackenfield Road, Framwellgate Moor, is of previous good character.

Judge Ray Singh agreed to adjourn the case to allow for preparation of a background probation report on the defendant, who was bailed to return for sentence, on January 12.