Devon Couple's Building Nightmare
A Newton Abbot couple's dreams of becoming foster parents have been shattered after hiring cowboy builders.
Rachel and Simon Ballamy signed a contract in 2009 with Eaglerock Associates Ltd of West Avenue, Exeter for a £49,000 extension so they could begin fostering.
But the work was never completed competently. And the electrics were so badly done that at Plymouth crown Court they were described as a 'death-trap'
The Ballamys then had to remortgage to spend another £40,000 getting the work made safe and put right - but now cannot afford to go ahead with their fostering plans.
William White, 51, admitted breaching professional diligence with the shoddy state of the electrical work and two counts of fraud relating to £6,500 'VAT' fees. He was jailed for nine months suspended for a year and ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work.
His ex-wife Jayne Thompson, 50, was jailed for six months suspended for 12 months and ordered to work 120 hours unpaid.
They also admitted claiming VAT even though their Exeter based company Eaglerock Associates Ltd was not VAT registered even though it should have been with its annual turnover.
The judge said they will face paying sizeable financial compensation to the victims plus £25,000 court costs and their own defence.
A county court ordered the defendants to pay back £49,000 but their company has gone into liquidation without a penny being paid - so far.
He also banned them from being directors of any company for ten years - even though they are both already banned until 2018.
Rachel Ballamy's been talking to our reporter Wendy Buckingham about their ordeal CLICK HERE