Grant Phillips took a total of £23,511 from 11 customers between April 2021 and October 2023 while operating under three different names.

Phillips traded as Superdry Plumbing & Drainage, Rhino Plumb, and Plumb Fix, operating around East Anglia before being brought to justice in a prosecution by Suffolk Trading Standards.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court on 3 June, he admitted fraudulent trading contrary to Section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 – trading fraudulently by failing to provide materials for work or not completing projects.

Phillips, of Bailey Gardens, Brantham, is due to be sentenced next month.

The prosecution was brought by Suffolk Trading Standards after customers complained to the Citizens Advice Helpline and Action Fraud.

The victims said payments were made to Phillips for home improvement projects that were not completed or were substandard, requiring expensive remedial work.

He also took money for materials which were not provided, were not as ordered or were not suitable.

The losses ranged from £200 to more than £4,000.

Some victims were elderly and had commissioned home improvement projects to improve accessibility to bathroom facilities in their homes.

Some were not able to afford to complete the project or have the work re-done for a lengthy period and one elderly victim found it difficult to trust another trader in her property.

Graham Crisp, Head of Suffolk Trading Standards, said: “This was a complex case with some vulnerable victims who have suffered financial loss and have been caused personal stress because of Phillips’ actions.

"These people trusted Phillips and they were let down by him either keeping the money and not doing the work, or by carrying it out poorly.

“It is to their credit that they came forward and reported him so that we were able to take action, which we will do against any individual or business that behaves in this way.”