Is this man Britain’s worst builder?

Lee Slocombe has ended up in prison due to his cowboy tactics and elaborate lies. Could he be the dodgiest tradesman in Britain?

If you’re in the building trade, make sure you have public liability or tradesmen insurance in place in case anything goes wrong!

Young couple’s cottage torn apart

A trail of destruction including demolished walls, gaping holes and missing staircases greeted a young couple when they returned home one day.

James Gardner wanted some renovation done on his 100-year old miner’s cottage in Wales before his partner moved in. He hired Lee Slocombe to knock down a wall and do some building work, but instead Lee began to rip out chunks of the house, telling James that he needed a ‘blank canvas’ and that parts of the cottage were rotten.

When James returned home with his partner Sheri, he found complete devastation. Lee had ripped out the boiler and the whole heating system without their permission.

Lee was nowhere to be found, although he later contacted James to say that he’d run out of money to complete their project. His lies then got even more bizarre: he said he would pay the couple back soon, as he was waiting for compensation for losing a testicle in an industrial accident!

Sick pensioner’s home ruined

When 72-year old Maggie Surridge let Lee into her life, she was expecting to get some smart new decking. Instead, she was left with a trail of unfinished work and a deep void in her bank account.

Maggie was unwell and waiting for heart surgery when Lee came to work on her garden.

He wormed his way into her affections, and kept telling her that there were lots of problems with her property that he needed to repair.

Although his work was always shoddy and never finished, Maggie let Lee carry on because she felt sorry for him: he’d told her he had lung cancer.

Making the most of Maggie’s sympathy, Lee asked for more and more money for materials, until Maggie had paid him over £8,000 for a series of unfinished projects.

Woman forced to re-mortgage house

Even when he was on the brink of being sent to prison, Lee continued to cause chaos.

Lisa Suminksi asked him to concrete the back garden of her five-bedroom townhouse. Following his usual pattern, Lee told Lisa that parts of her house were rotten and persuaded her to give him £5,000 to replace roof timbers and to begin a bathroom extension.

Because the job had got much bigger than she’d planned, Lisa had to borrow money from her parents to pay Lee. He left her with a broken roof, a collapsed wall, and the news that he was going to prison.

Lisa has now had to re-mortgage her house to pay her parents back. She said that she feels ‘absolutely distraught’ and that her ‘emotions are all over the place’.

Prison for the cowboy builder

Lee won’t be able to wreak havoc on the homeowners of Wales any longer. In February the dastardly builder was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Meanwhile, the people whose homes he ruined are left to clear up the mess he left behind, but are unlikely to get any of their money back.

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