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Building firm in court over debt
A COUPLE have won a county court judgement against a defunct building firm that has run up a string of complaints since its owner went AWOL.
Workers at Don and Amanda Cox’s home in Abbey Meads left a redecorating job after applying just one coat of paint to a bedroom wall.
The couple are owed £500 by Dean’s Home & Garden Mainten-ance, whose owner Dean Goucher disappeared six months ago in the face of complaints from several customers, including Esther Jones from East Wichel, who the Adver featured last week.
Don and Amanda paid Dean’s son Sam a £500 deposit out of a £1,225 fee to redecorate the room.
But they could not contact Dean, whose house in Park South was empty, in the weeks before the start date on November 1.
Sam, who has claimed his father left Swindon six months ago after giving him his tools and van, turned up with two employees on the day instead.
Mr Cox, 79, a retired driving professional, said: “They didn’t look like professionals. They did about two hours then Sam came back down and said there’s not much more they could do until the paint dried.
“They had only put emulsion on one wall. “In the evening we had a note pushed through our door saying he had spoken to his solicitor and he had been advised not to do any more work for Dean’s Home & Garden Maintenance and had to cancel the job.”
Sam, 22, only offered £300 back as a deposit, claiming he was owed money for materials. But the cheque bounced.
A CCJ and a warrant of execution allowing bailiffs to chase the debt was issued to the couple but the sum, totalling £598, has so far not been paid.
A spokeswoman for Swindon Council’s Trading Standards team confirmed a complaint had been received.
The couple are the third set of customers who have said they are unhappy with work carried out by the father-and-son team.
Mrs Cox, a hospital manager, said: “They are basically just a cowboy outfit. In comparison with some of the customers the amount of money we are owed is quite minor, we just want to stop people from using this company.”
But Sam denied he was a cowboy builder. He also alleged Mr Cox had told him he wasn’t going to pay any more money for the job and had made his employees feel uncomfortable, forcing him to work alone.