Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Missing builder has also left £4,300 debt
A BUILDING firm accused of leaving a trail of botched and dangerous work in Swindon has failed to repay more than £4,000 to a family-run merchants’ yard.
Dean’s Home & Garden Mainten-ance had a 30-day account with HJ Webb & Sons, in Shrivenham, but has not paid the bill for goods it took between August and September.
The whereabouts of the firm’s owner, Dean Goucher, are unknown.
His son Sam previously told the Adver Dean left Swindon six months ago and has only been in touch to say he was safe. Steve Davidson, the general manager at HJ Webb, has failed to locate the tradesman over the £4,300 debt, which the company believes it is unlikely to recover.
He said: “Dean’s Home & Gardens collected a load of fencing and shed-building materials on their account and now we can’t get hold of them. “Someone told us Dean Goucher left the country, and his son told us he was up north. “We have tried every option but can’t track him down. We are insured against bad debts but it is annoying, as we like to think we can trust all our customers. “We have passed it on to our solicitors but we want other merchants to be aware this company is there.” Mr Goucher left several unhappy customers, including Esther Jones, who claims she is owed £4,200 after the company botched a job to build a patio at her home in East Wichel.
Faye Sweet alleges Mr Goucher had filled her house in Penhill with carbon monoxide after tampering with a boiler, leaving her hospitalised for four days.
Don and Amanda Cox also claimed the firm walked out on a redecorating job at their home in Abbey Meads after applying one coat of paint to a wall, leaving them £500 out of pocket.
Swindon Council’s trading standards team is investigating.
Sam, 22, who worked with his father before they fell out at the end of last year, has hit back at the customers, accusing them of fabricating or exaggerating problems.
He declined to comment on the latest allegation to hit his father’s now defunct company.
Carla Baker, of trading standards, said: “Businesses as well as consumers can be affected when traders disappear. If it’s not a limited company, the individual who runs the business will be liable for the debt. “Sadly, this will be of no use if the owner cannot be found or has no assets worth suing for.”
Consumers who want a list of approved companies in Swindon they can visit www.buywithconfidence.-com.