Family owed £50k by cowboy builder who left them living 'on building site'

·2-min read
Devastated Carmel Gareth Ponsford have lost £50,000 to cowboy builder Carl Mills (SWNS)
Carmel Gareth Ponsford have lost £50,000 to cowboy builder Carl Mills (SWNS)

 

A family have been left living on a building site for months after their builder downed tools with more than £50k of their money.

Carmel and Gareth Ponsford had paid an initial £30,000 for builder Carl Harrison Mills to carry out work inside their house, including building separate bedrooms for their three children.

But he abandoned work halfway through the job in August 2021 after demanding more money for the work and has now cut all contact with the couple.

They have since secured a county court judgement against Mills for a total of £53,263.95. The builder did not defend the case but has still not paid.

Two of the Ponsfords children have autism, and the couple say the whole family has suffered as a result of the unfinished works.

Carl Harrison Mills left the job unfinished and has not returned any money despite a court judgement against him (SWNS)
Carl Harrison Mills left the job unfinished and has not returned any money despite a court judgement against him (SWNS)

Parish council clerk Carmel, 35, who lives with engineering manager Gareth, 42, and their children in Stroud, Gloucestershire, said: "We are devastated. We work so hard and it’s all been what it seems like for nothing.

"We just wanted a bedroom and safe space for the kids, because they all need that. Children with additional needs are a lot and it takes its toll on the rest of the family, let alone the parents. The kids just need somewhere that's their own.

The house has been left 'a building site' for more than a year (SWNS)
The house has been left 'a building site' for more than a year (SWNS)

"It’s been pretty tough. We try to count our blessings, but some days it’s tough if we’ve had a bad night with our son or work."

The couple had remortgaged their home to pay for the work after wanting separate bedrooms for their children.

After Mills stopped turning up for work and answering their calls, they turned to Gloucestershire police who said their situation was a civil matter and they could not intervene.

They then applied for the count court judgment.

Carl Mills abandoned work halfway through the job in August 2021 after demanding more money for his work (SWNS)
Carl Mills abandoned work halfway through the job in August 2021 after demanding more money for his work (SWNS)

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Mrs Ponsford said: "We just don’t want anyone else to be conned by this man.

"If we can stop just one person being in this situation then that’s exactly why we’ve done this.

"We're trying to make our family's life better and he's ruined it.

"It’s unlikely we’ll ever see our money again, but hopefully nobody else will get hurt by this man."

Mr Mills has so far not responded to requests for comment.

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