A shameless fraudster who swindled almost £60,000 from a Kilburn resident has bagged a suspended prison sentence thanks to Brent and Harrow Trading Standards.
In April 2019, a Kilburn resident hired Dashamir Noka’s company, DN Plumbing, Heating and Building Construction Limited, to renovate and extend a kitchen at their home.
By May of that year, Noka had received over £50,000 from the homeowner but all he had done was demolish the original kitchen and dig up the garden.
After claiming he had lost his bank card so could not pay for his workers or materials, the homeowner was pressured into parting with another £7,000.
A Brent and Harrow Trading Standards investigation found most of the money had been spent in casinos, betting shops and other gambling places. Noka claimed that £28,000 had been spent on building materials, but officers found no proof of this.
When the homeowner appeared in court, she said Noka treated her “like his personal piggy bank”, that the family is “still impacted by the life-changing consequences of losing nearly £60,000”.
She added, “The days, weeks and months of no progress, with the back of our house exposed, a broken boiler, dirt everywhere and a makeshift kitchen, while we lived there with our 18-month-old and 4-year-old were horrific”.
In sentencing, Judge Johnson said Noka took money knowing it would be spent on his own selfish addiction. He had the homeowner “over a barrel” and took advantage of that.
Noka was handed a 20-week prison sentence at Harrow Crown Court, suspended for 18 months and was ordered to pay back his victim £20,000 in compensation.
Simon Legg, Head of Trading Standards for Brent Council and Harrow Council, said:
“Noka’s actions had a devastating impact on the lives of an innocent family and I am pleased he has now been forced to face his crimes in court.
"Home renovations can cause stress even when they go to plan, but having to face a rouge tradesperson at the same time is dreadful, especially if you have a young family trying to live amongst the unfinished job.
“Always be extra cautious when handing over money, ensure your contract has clear payment terms and that agreed works have been completed.”
Are you looking for a tradesperson to carry out building or landscaping work on your home?
Check our checklist to protect yourself!
- Do not agree to services offered by a cold caller
- Never pay cash in advance
- Where possible, pay by cheque or a credit card
- Source three written quotes and make sure they all include agreed work and materials
- Ask for references or use recommendations
- It is better to go with tradespeople who are registered with a certified trading association (double-check if you are unsure) or who rank highly on review websites
- Contact your local council before starting any works to make sure you are following planning and building rules.
To report a rogue builder or for more help and advice, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.