Beat The Cowboy Builder
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Beat The Cowboy Builder
Beat The Cowboy Builder bringing you the latest news and views on cowboy builders, rogue traders and confidence tricksters.
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Gas leak homes face demolition

Gas leak homes face demolition | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Houses built on a former Midlothian coal mine are set to be demolished after carbon dioxide was found to be seeping into properties.
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Electrician jailed for £1.5m VAT fraud Ι Construction Enquirer

Electrician jailed for £1.5m VAT fraud Ι Construction Enquirer | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it

An electrician from Surrey who fraudulently claimed over £1.5m in VAT repayments to fund a lavish lifestyle has been jailed for three years and eight months. 

Melvyn Horton, 58, used fake invoices to make multiple false claims for VAT refunds to HM Revenue and Customs.

He used the cash to take expensive holidays and fund private schooling for his kids.

Horton, who ran Cobham Electrical Ltd, was caught after HMRC officers found that he stole the identities of seven companies to create fake sales and purchase invoices, and then submitted the fraudulent repayment claims to HMRC between 2009 and 2013.

Andrew Sackey, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC said: “Criminals like Horton who take a positive decision to steal from the tax system and, ultimately, from every honest taxpayer in the UK must pay the price.

“In this case as well as being sent to jail, we are now looking to recover the profits of his criminal conduct.”

Horton fraudulently received £1,533,598.82 in VAT refunds.

He was arrested at his home in Surrey in June 2013 and later charged.

When HMRC challenged Horton he admitted committing VAT fraud and on 30 May 2014, he pleaded guilty to withdrawing £82,000 from his bank account after he was arrested – money he had obtained committing the fraud.

Horton was sentenced last week at Guildford Crown Court to three years and eight months imprisonment and disqualified from being a company director for 15 years.

Confiscation proceedings are in place to reclaim any financial gain.


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Fresh clash over blacklisting compensation scheme

Fresh clash over blacklisting compensation scheme | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Construction unions have attempted to block moves by contractors to contact blacklisted workers over proposed compensation payouts.
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Jail for 79-year-old plant theft kingpin Ι Construction Enquirer

Jail for 79-year-old plant theft kingpin Ι Construction Enquirer | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
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How to Spot and Avoid Rogue Electricians and Cowboy Builders

How to Spot and Avoid Rogue Electricians and Cowboy Builders | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
We recently stumbled upon a great article put out by the AdviceGuide - self help from Citizens advice - concerning, Top tips on how to spot a cowboy builder. And this got us thinking: many people c...
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Liverpool picks firms for £200m housing programme

Liverpool picks firms for £200m housing programme | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Redrow Homes and Willmott Dixon to work on 2,500-home programme
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Carefree scaffolders caught on camera

Carefree scaffolders caught on camera | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Scaffolders on a central London site were so blasé about the risks they faced that they sent shivers through shoppers and tourists passing below.
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Deadly building materials deal ends with a death and a jail sentence

Deadly building materials deal ends with a death and a jail sentence | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
A man who sold second-hand roofing panels containing asbestos has been sentenced to 12 months in prison after a construction worker was killed installing them.
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Driver mows down construction worker

Driver mows down construction worker | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it

Police are hunting for a rogue motorist after a teenage construction worker was left with a broken leg when a man ran him over after refusing to use a diversion around roadworks.

The victim was hit in Knaresborough earlier this week.

The road was closed for repairs but the driver of the car was allowed through when he told the work crew he was picking up a child.

When he tried to make the return trip he was told that he couldn’t drive through the site by one the construction workers.

Police said the driver refused to follow the diversion and drove through the site hitting the construction worker.

The 18-year-old man who had been working on the road, from County Durham, was taken to Harrogate District Hospital with a suspected broken leg. He has since been discharged.

Police are now appealing for witnesses after the driver failed to stop.

The driver is described as being white and aged in his 60s.

TC Dave Lever, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, told the Harrogate Advertiser: “If you are the driver of the vehicle involved in this collision, it is possible that you are unaware that a collision occurred, and I urge you to come forward straight away so that I can take your statement.”

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McNicholas fined for unsafe London roadworks

McNicholas fined for unsafe London roadworks | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Virgin Media and contractor McNicholas have been made to pay more than £11,000 after pleading guilty to three offences relating to unsafe road works.
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Rogue Traders in Mablethorpe - Lincolnshire Police

Rogue Traders in Mablethorpe - Lincolnshire Police | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Detective Constable Sarah Wright of Louth CID is hoping to alert residents of Mablethorpe and surrounding areas about rogue traders who appear to have been operating there earlier in the month. The offence was committed ...
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Stonemason struck down by silica dust at school

Stonemason struck down by silica dust at school | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
A private school in Clitheroe has been fined £100,000 after one of its stonemasons developed a potentially fatal lung disease.
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Man paralysed by fall from gritter

Man paralysed by fall from gritter | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
A Cumbernauld man has been left paralysed after falling from the top of a road gritter while trying to clear a blockage.
His employer has now been fined £12,500 for breaching the Work at Height Regulations.
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Worker injured by falling debris on London housing site

Worker injured by falling debris on London housing site | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
A man has been injured by debris fallen from a crane at a residential development in Chiswick, west London.
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Jail for skip hire men

Jail for skip hire men | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Two men who ran a skip hire operation without an environmental permit have been sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for a year.
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Warning over rogue traders for Green Deal

Warning over rogue traders for Green Deal | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Homeowners are being urged to be on their guard from ‘rogue traders’ looking to cash in on the government’s Green Deal scheme. (News Post Leader - Warning over rogue traders for Green Deal: Homeowners are being urged to be on their guard ...
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Contractor fined for staircase fall

Contractor fined for staircase fall | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Wolverhampton’s Ereconomic Construction has been fined £6,000 after a worker was hurt when he fell from a staircase.
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Unloading steel needs slings not forks

Unloading steel needs slings not forks | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Failure to unload steel beams safely has cost a pair of engineering firms £26,000 in fines.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the companies after a lorry driver had his hand crushed by a beam rolling off a forklift truck.
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Two rogue traders who fleeced Anfield vulnerable pensioners over building work jailed

Two rogue traders who fleeced Anfield vulnerable pensioners over building work jailed | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Dean Evans and Lee Hargreaves cold-called at homes of elderly residents in Walton and Anfield (Two rogue traders who fleeced Anfield vulnerable pensioners over building work jailed http://t.co/rvmdryxuJ1)...
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Council fined after old lady falls through hole in floor

Council fined after old lady falls through hole in floor | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
A Scottish council has been fined £20,000 after an elderly tenant fell through an access hole that its building workers had negligently left uncovered in her block of flats.
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Scaffolders’ TG20:13 guidance goes mobile

Scaffolders’ TG20:13 guidance goes mobile | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
The National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has launched a Google Android app version of its TG20:13 eGuide.
This provides a mobile, digital good practice guide for tube and fitting scaffolding.
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Cable strike worker being treated for severe burns

Cable strike worker being treated for severe burns | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
A worker suffered a massive electric shock after striking a power cable in the centre of Truro yesterday.
The subcontractor was working for Balfour Beatty on the South West Water sewer upgrade project.
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Blacklist compensation scheme ‘on brink of collapse’

Blacklist compensation scheme ‘on brink of collapse’ | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
Plans for a compensation scheme for victims of the construction blacklist scheme are said to be on the verge of collapse as the major contractors are unable to reach an agreement with the trade unions.
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HSE alert over cherry picker safe working

HSE alert over cherry picker safe working | Beat The Cowboy Builder | Scoop.it
The HSE has issued a safety alert over mobile elevating work platforms following an investigation into seven deaths where operators were crushed.
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