Builder jailed after fleecing Retford family

A crooked builder who fleeced a family out of thousands of pounds has been jailed.
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Brian Barton, aged 53, agreed to complete a sensory room for a child with significant learning difficulties in Retford.

After accepting a deposit of £7,000 for materials in July 2021, Barton then spent the following three months coming up with excuse after excuse as to why the work had not started yet.

After initially blaming a post-covid delay in getting hold of building materials, he eventually claimed he would cancel the order and refund the money.

Photo by Nottinghamshire Police.Photo by Nottinghamshire Police.
Photo by Nottinghamshire Police.

No money was ever sent, however, and Barton was reported to Nottinghamshire Police in October of the same year.

After initially denying any wrongdoing, he eventually pleaded guilty to one count of theft.

Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday, Barton, of Laurel Fields, Potters Bar, was jailed for 13 months.

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Detective Constable Sean Osborn, who led the investigation, said: “Barton never had any intention of starting this work and caused significant upset and anxiety.

“Barton was supposed to be constructing a sensory room for a young boy who has significant learning difficulties.

“He instead took this money for his personal gain.

“It’s a testament to the perseverance of the family and tradespeople from the community, who stepped in to complete building work often at their own expense, that the child now has a fully functional sensory room fit for his needs.”

The victim was refunded by the bank for the majority of the money paid to Barton.

He added: “These actions serve to undermine faith in the building profession as a whole – I am pleased he was now been held to account.”