Builder accused of fleeing with £23,000 of customer’s cash after job near Sudbury
A property developer claims he is owed tens of thousands of pounds by a builder who disappeared midway through his project.
Adam Harley, from Foxearth, near Sudbury, says he has given up on ever seeing the £23,000 he claims he is still owed for work contracted to a builder called Daniel Wigley, of Atrium Construction Limited.
The 46-year-old has reported the case to Essex Police, who are investigating.
The father-of-two asked Mr Wigley to create an apartment in the cartlodge of his home in Foxearth, after friends recommended the builder.
At first, he said, Mr Wigley seemed friendly. He completed the first fix to an acceptable standard in spring this year. But Mr Harley said after that the troubles began.
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“I was paying money but nothing was getting done and anything that was getting done was really slow,” he said.
Despite his concerns he gave Mr Wigley the benefit of the doubt.
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He took out another loan to pay for £20,000 plumbing work that Mr Wigley said needed to be done.
But after paying part of the money and still not seeing any progress, Mr Harley’s suspicions took over. “That’s when I put a stop to it,” he said.
He estimates it should have taken a month to complete the job but by August, six months after asking Mr Wigley to start on the project, nothing other than the first fix had been completed.
In total, Mr Harley said he paid £38,000 for the work and estimates that what had been completed was worth around £15,000. He has had to pay other builders to complete the project.
After asking Mr Wigley to return the money or complete the work, he became increasingly difficult to contact and he is now thought to have moved away from the area.
Mr Wigley’s company Atrium Construction Limited was wound up in April by a court order under the Insolvency Act at the request of building merchants Ridgeons.
The firm has two unsatisfied County Court Judgements against it from March this year for a total of almost £2,000.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “We are investigating an allegation of fraud in Foxearth. The victim, a man in his 40s, reported to us he paid a five-figure sum for building work which has not been carried out.”
This newspaper has attempted to contact Mr Wigley for comment.