A ROGUE Dudley builder who gambled away £50,000 given to him by families in the area for work on their homes has been locked up for 26 months.

Shane Rollinson conned unsuspecting customers by maintaining he was an award winning builder with considerable experience but "those representations were false."

They enabled him to secure work from people who, said Mark Jackson prosecuting, would never have contacted him if "they had known what they were letting themselves in for."

The work carried out by Rollinson - when he bothered to turn up - was of a very poor standard and it was vastly overcharged, he told Wolverhampton Crown Court.

He said one Sedgley family paid Rollinson who was trading as S.Rollinson Brickworks Ltd a total of £26,500 and they had to pay out another £4,000 in labour and materials to help correct some of his shoddy work.

In a victim impact statement David Cook, of Eaves Court Drive, said Rollinson's criminal activities had a "shattering "effect on his family who were looking to add a single storey extension to the side of their home

He told investigators the "messy" work left behind by Rollinson was a constant reminder of the "nightmare" they had suffered and their home still felt and looked like a building site.

Mr Cook said his family had been left emotionally drained by Rollinson having paid him all the money they had and they were still in a "state of despair."

Dudley News:

Mr Cook's house was left unfinished by Rollinson. Picture Dudley MBC

Judge Abbas Mithani QC said Rollinson had clearly "preyed" on his victims who believed he was an honest and reputable builder and he had made away with their money to fund his gambling addiction.

It was "appalling conduct" he told 30-year-old Rollinson, a father of three of Downfield Drive, Sedgley, and he had flagrantly abused the trust placed in him by his customers.

He described Rollinson as "thoroughly dishonest" adding that he had taken significant sums of money that had been saved by his victims.

Rollinson was a "rogue trader" said Mr Jackson and when his bank account was investigated payments had been made to betting firms including Coral interactive, Paddy Power, Skybet and Bet365.

Barrister Jon Roe, for Rollinson, who pleaded guilty to five charges relating to fraudulent trading said he had won awards for his bricklaying as he stressed he had not set up the firm to commit fraud.

Mr Roe said Rollinson made the mistake of taking on far too much work and he then "unfortunately developed a gambling addiction.

Large amounts of money were were going out of his bank account to fund his gambling habit, Mr Roe said: "It was going out quicker than it was coming in and his addiction has now cost him his reputation."

The judge further disqualified Rollinson from acting as a company director for eight years and said he would have to face a Proceeds of Crime Hearing on a future date.

That could mean the court will seize any assets he may have to help compensate his victims who lost £50,000 as a result of his fraudulent behaviour.

Dudley News:

Rollinson quoted Kayla Banga £5,500 to tidy up a garden and build an outhouse at a property in Sutton Coldfield, he took £4,000 but did only preparitory work. Picture: Dudley MBC