Cowboy builder charged

By Amanda Wilkins - 27 February 2024


A ‘cowboy builder’ who carried out sub-standard building works and left some work incomplete, has been given an eight-month suspended prison sentence.

Raj Kumar Bagga, of Woodside Avenue, Old Walcot, was sentenced at Swindon Crown Court on Friday (23 Feb) following an investigation by Swindon Borough Council’s Trading Standards team.

The 59-year-old admitted three charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations which took place during 2022.

The offences were committed by Bagga when he was trading under the name of R and L Building Solutions. He undertook work which was substandard and left incomplete after taking money in advance, leaving each of his victims grossly out of pocket.

He undertook work for house extensions, renovation work, and a loft conversion.

A surveyor’s report on the loft conversion concluded that work was unsafe and that there was a real possibility the structure could catastrophically collapse.

The eight-month prison sentence was suspended for 18 months and he was given 200 hours of community service, and 25 days of rehabilitation activity.

He was also handed a criminal behaviour order, prohibiting him from undertaking any building work in his own capacity, or any business operated by him, for 10 years.

In his sentencing remarks, His Honour Judge Townsend told the defendant he was not of good character. He added that he was a cowboy builder who was highly reckless and had caused his victims suffering and misery.

Councillor Jim Grant, Swindon Borough’s Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Joint Working, said: “This individual’s actions were reprehensible as he showed complete disregard for the trust his customers placed in him.

“They thought he was carrying out work to improve their homes, yet he destroyed their hopes and dreams leaving behind a trail of shoddy sub-standard work, often incomplete.

“We will not tolerate this type of behaviour from traders in the Borough and will continue to take action to clamp down on rogue traders when reported to us.”

Members of the public can report a rogue trader by using the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 or via its website:

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