Mark Buck: ‘One of the worst rogue traders’ with four different names is finally jailed

Mark Buck also called himself Mark Budd, Mark Bailey and Mark Brown

<p>Mark Buck, 49, took money from customers but left multiple jobs botched and unfinished</p>

Mark Buck, 49, took money from customers but left multiple jobs botched and unfinished

A rogue builder with four different names has been jailed for inflicting untold mental stress on dozens of victims.

Mark Buck, 49, who lives close to Bristol, took money from customers but left multiple jobs botched and unfinished - with some victims tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket.

His trail of destruction and misery was so bad it lead to trading standards describing him as “one of the worst rogue builder” they had ever seen.

And many of Buck’s victims were left to find support in a Facebook “survivors’ group”, which has nearly 100 members, including tradespeople who said they had not been paid.

Buck, of Compton Dando, near Keynhsam, was jailed for five years after he admitted fraudulent trading.

Bristol Crown Court was told he also called himself Mark Budd, Mark Bailey and Mark Brown and traded as I Build 4 U, MB Construction, MB Building Services and Ashlar SW Ltd among others. He had also declared himself bankrupt twice.

But his victims said he had left them with major repair work and hefty bills for unfinished work.

Some were left with water pouring through ceilings and dealing with ditches outside their homes.

The court heard his customers had suffered financially as well as emotionally.

Among them was Claire Snook, from Portishead, who was left £60,000 out of pocket after asking him to build a loft conversion in 2018.

He asked for a large deposit upfront, but work stalled soon after he started.

Ms Snook said her roof was left unfinished for months, including during the “Beast From The East” storm, when water came into the house.

She told the BBC: “I’m a disabled woman and I was taking care of my elderly mother.

“We were both living in this house that was not waterproof in the winter.

“We had weather coming in and everything was leaking. We were terrified to use the electrics in the house, in the depth of winter.”

Ms Snook has spent the past two years completing and repairing the work at her own expense.

She said: “You cannot imagine the impact that has on your mental health.

“You know that you have to go home to this building site, and you have no idea when it’s going to be finished.

“You have no idea how you’re going to be able to afford to pay to get this finished. It’s been indescribable.”

Trading standards officer for the south west, Francis Chalk, said after the sentencing: “I’ve been in Trading Standards for 30 years and I think he’s probably one of the worst rogue builders we’ve ever had to deal with.

“He made promises to people about timescales which he could never keep.

“He took large amounts of money for items he never ordered - or ever supplied - and when he did do some building work, a lot of it was never completed.”