Builder Receives Immediate Prison Sentence Following Successful Prosecution by Carmarthenshire County Council

115 days ago

Carmarthenshire County Council has secured a successful prosecution against Craig Baker, the Sole Director of Elite Construction and Plastering Limited and Elite Plastering and Construction Limited, who appeared before His Honour Judge Paul Thomas KC at Swansea Crown Court for sentencing. Baker entered guilty pleas to two counts of fraudulent trading, contrary to the Companies Act 2006, at an earlier hearing.

The charges, spanning different periods, revolved around Baker's false representations and fraudulent practices in his construction dealings. Count 1, covering the period between July 1, 2021, and May 11, 2022, involved falsely representing initial quotes as the total cost of works, misrepresenting the value of works, and falsely undertaking to complete works to a standard of a reasonably competent professional builder. Count 2, from July 26, 2021, to April 27, 2022, included overcharging, further false representations of work value, and falsely undertaking to complete works to a specified standard.

An investigation by Carmarthenshire Trading Standards revealed that Baker, with registered office addresses at Spilman Street, Carmarthen, and Is-Y-Llan, Llanddarog, had defrauded consumers of over £30,000 for building work.

In one case, Baker constructed a conservatory at a property, with an Expert Witness Surveyor later deeming the work as having no value and requiring removal and rebuilding. The surveyor went on to describe the construction details as "some of the worst" encountered in their 24 years of surveying.

For his actions, Judge Paul Thomas sentenced Craig Baker to 3 years and 4 months in prison, with a 20% credit reducing the term to 32 months (2 years and 8 months). Baker will serve half of this sentence before being released on license.

Jonathan Morgan, Head of Homes & Safer Communities, said:

“I would like to thank the team for their exemplary work in prosecuting the case.
Their commitment reflects our collective determination as a council to pursue justice, sending a clear message that we will not tolerate actions that compromise the safety and integrity of our community.”

Carmarthenshire County Council urges consumers affected by such practices to refer to Citizens Advice consumer services here for support and guidance.