Mum, 52, left suicidal after rogue trader leaves home looking like building site

A single mum has told how she was left feeling suicidal - after falling victim to a rogue trader. Lesley Barlow paid £16,683.83 for a new kitchen and bathroom at her Baddeley Green home.

But the work was never completed and left Lesley with bare wires, no lights, and no running water.

The 52-year-old was this week at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court to see fraudulent businessman Richard Stubbs jailed for five-and-a-half years after he was convicted of three charges of fraudulent trading, seven charges of fraud, and two charges of intending to pervert the course of public justice.

READ: 'Dishonest' North Staffordshire businessman JAILED - Richard Stubbs, 55, from Endon, is now a 'broken man'

READ: Ex-copper and charity champ now behind bars as reputation goes down the toilet - Richard Stubbs, 55, from Endon, has now been jailed for five-and-a-half years after being convicted of ripping off customers at his kitchen and bathroom showrooms

His businesses - Leek-based I Design Kitchens and Bathrooms and Peak Kitchens and Bathrooms - were convicted of a total of seven counts of fraud.

Now Lesley estimates she has been left more than £40,000 out of pocket following her ordeal.

Lesley told the court: "I was left with an empty shell and hanging live wires in the kitchen. I am a single parent. I am the sole provider. I was financially crippled by his actions. I feel stupid for allowing him to manipulate me.

"It took its toll on my health and made me mentally and physically spent as a person. I had no means of income. I was destroyed as a person. I reached breaking point and made a decision to end my life. Thankfully I was not successful. I had counselling. I had to remortgage my house. I was shattered into a million pieces. His actions have changed me as a person."

Speaking on the steps of the court, Lesley added: "He walked off the job and he took the money. They left me with bare wires, no lights, no water. That is when I started to bring my own legal case.

"I wanted him to have a longer sentence for what he has done. It has not just impacted me. It has impacted my son also.

"It is all about him. There is no remorse. I have never had an apology. I have suffered so much. I am a single parent. It took me years to find that money. I had to remortgage to pay other people to do the jobs. So I am actually more than £40,000 out of pocket."

The court heard how 52-year-old Stubbs, of High View Road, Endon, had served with Staffordshire Police for nine years. He has been banned from being a company director for the next 10 years.

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