Builder admits 'potentially dangerous' work that left victims out of pocket

Ipswich Magistrates Court on Elm Street.

Kevin Zizka, 52, pleaded guilty to three charges at Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A builder's substandard and "potentially dangerous" electrical and structural work left four Suffolk clients more than £31,000 out of pocket in total, a court heard. 

Kevin Zizka, 52, who is the sole director of Felixstowe-based KHF Building and Landscaping Ltd, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to three charges. 

Suffolk Trading Standards said Zizka undertook electrical and steel beam installation work that fell way below what would be expected of a competent and qualified tradesman. 

On one job, the electrical work was found to be "potentially dangerous" with a risk of fire and electric shock when examined by experts, Laura Austin, prosecuting, told the court. 

On the three jobs where steel beam installation work was carried out, the expert said the value of the work was nil, Miss Austin said. 

The experts concluded that the beam work could have led to structural failure and, in at least two cases, it was potentially dangerous as walls were at risk of collapse. 

Zizka also took fees for building control applications without making the applications, and charged VAT without paying VAT or being VAT registered. 

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He also claimed to be Suffolk Trading Standards and Checkatrade approved, which he was not, the court heard. 

Zizka continued to use the Suffolk Trading Standards and Checkatrade logos on quotes despite not being registered, Ms Austin told magistrates. 

Zizka also made a false statement to clients about reasons for not working, and told one client the business had ceased trading. 

The current loss to the four victims is a total of £31,547, with one client having already paid £3,706 to have Zizka's work corrected, Miss Austin said. 

The offending took place between July 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, in Suffolk. 

Zizka, previously of Felixstowe but now of Arnold Road, Clacton, pleaded guilty to carrying on business of company with intent to defraud creditors, recklessly engaging in a commercial practice and allowing the company to engage in a commercial practice which contravened the requirements of professional diligence. 

Zizka, who was not legally represented at the hearing, said his marriage had broken down in late 2019. 

He said he had lost his house and was fighting debt, and got himself "in a complete muddle". 

Zizka added he couldn't disagree with anything trading standards had said at the hearing. 

A pre-sentence report was ordered and Zizka was granted unconditional bail ahead of his sentence at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on April 1.