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Plumber sentenced for work which 'posed a safety risk' to homeowners

A plumber from Slough has been sentenced after his work ‘posed a safety risk to homeowners’ and caused one customer’s ceiling to collapse.

John Monaighan, of Beresford Avenue, was jailed for 18 months at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday, February 14 after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of unfair trading.

It followed an investigation launched by the Public Protection Partnership (PPP), which is jointly run with Wokingham Borough, West Berkshire and Bracknell Forest councils, and West Berkshire Legal Services.

Cllr Norman Jorgenson (Con, Hillside) of Wokingham Borough Council, who is the chairman of the Joint Public Protection Committee, said: “This kind of offending that leaves people with damaged property, out of pocket or risks their health and well-being is completely unacceptable.

“This was reflected in the sentencing which I hope sends a clear message to would be perpetrators. The Partnership will always investigate matters of this nature and where appropriate legal action will follow.”

The investigation was launched when a Newbury resident complained after receiving an electric shock when they first used their newly-refurbished bathroom, following the installation of an electric shower.

A spokesman for West Berkshire Council said the bathroom had been left in a ‘potentially very dangerous state with the homeowners exposed to risks of fire and electric shock’.

Following the complaint, PPP found victims in seven homes in the South-east that Monaighan had done work for between May 2015 and May 2017.

A Slough resident had contracted Monaighan, who was trading as Splash Plumbing, to update her bathroom, but he took 10 days to complete it after providing an estimate of five.

After receiving full payment, he failed to attend to complete snagging works, and a leak from the newly-installed shower, which was discovered later, damaged the ceiling and it collapsed.

Another Slough resident paid £1,620 for work at his home which was left unfinished.

In Burnham, a homeowner hired Monaighan, who was then trading as Your Plumber, to carry out work but after receiving part payment he left the job unfinished and sewerage pipes unsealed.

Residents in Walton-on-Thames, Hillingdon and Reading were also affected.

Monaighan was paid a total of £15,595 for all of the work, which the West Berkshire Council spokesman said Monaighan had ‘either failed to finish or left in a poor state of finish’.

“Furthermore in some instances the work was so substandard that it posed a safety risk to homeowners,” the spokesman added.

Monaighan, who also traded under Home Counties Plumbing, was told to pay £500 in compensation.

Anyone in Wokingham, Bracknell or West Berkshire with concerns about work can contact Trading Standards on 03454 04 05 06 or email tsadvice@westberks.gov.uk.

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