A heartbroken mother has told how she is working six days a week to rebuild her shattered home after cowboy builders cheated her out of almost £80,000.
Rogue traders Kyle Muir, 26, and Reece Lloyd, 30, left nurse Vicki Mileham, from Belton, near Great Yarmouth, with a deathtrap extension so unsafe that building inspectors told her to tear it down.
Almost two years after abandoning the job in early 2020, the pair have pleaded guilty to cheating customers out of a combined £116,000.
Ms Mileham, 52, had signed a contract with Muir and Lloyd in November 2019, planning to add a fourth bedroom and an en suite bathroom to her three-bed semi, which she shares with twin 15-year-old daughters Ruby and Ellie.
Lloyd and Muir quoted her £32,000 and said the two-storey build – including a new fitted kitchen and bathroom – would take around three months.
However, Muir quit the job within weeks after a disagreement with his business partner. Lloyd also failed to turn up for work for many weeks.
Vicki Mileham was working on Vicki Mileham’s extension to the deathtrap before it had too much weight and needed to be removed.
Kyle Muir (26), and Reece Lloyd (30) were rogue traders who left Vicki Mileham, a nurse from Belton near Great Yarmouth with an unsafe deathtrap extension that was so dangerous building inspectors ordered her to remove it
Ms Mileham said: ‘When he did eventually turn up in early 2020 he told me the job had gone over budget and he needed another £20k for materials.
“The work went nowhere in the weeks that followed, but it was the same story every week – he required more money.
Ms Mileham remortgaged her home, maxed out credit cards and took out loans to pay for materials, handing over almost £80,000 in total by March 2020.
Muir, from Yarmouth, admitted conning six customers – including Ms Mileham – out of £48,300 by failing to complete work, and pleaded guilty to seven fraud charges
Lloyd quit the project after just four months. Ms. Mileham was left with a leaky roof, wonky brickwork, and a cavity wall that had been built around a natural gas pipe.
Ms. Mileham stated that they hadn’t laid foundations and had started to build the extension from scratch. They had used the wrong cement, and wrong supports to support the roof. The wrong cement was used to join the interior bricks. They were basically balanced one on top of another.
“A supporting girder was inserted with wooden blocks. I then had to repair the hole they made in my wall. We were separated from wind and rain by a couple of plastic sheets.
“In a sense, it’s miraculous that the work was stopped at this point because it could have collapsed in the future and possibly killed them.
After seeing Ms. Mileham’s roof, concerned neighbors raised alarm.
The UK was in Covid lockdown and Norfolk County Council sent a building inspector to inspect videos and photographs of the extension.
When rain fell through Ms Mileham’s roof leaky roof, black mold and cracks began to appear on her walls.
With her kitchen literally a shell, she was unable to cook and spent many months cleaning her bathroom.
The generous neighbours helped to demolish the faulty extension. They also set up Go Fund Me, which raised funds for a new building.
Vicki Mileham needs to repair the damage done by cowboy builders in Vicki’s hallway
One of many grave mistakes made by cowboy builders was to insert a gas pipe into a cavity wall.
But Ms Mileham was forced to sell personal possessions – even selling her winter coat – to scrape together another £17,000 to make her home habitable.
Lloyd sent her a letter in September 2020, to apologize and to warn that he would file bankruptcy against her if she filed a claim against his.
Asher Paniri and Ms Mileham, her partner – whom she first met after he agreed to fix the roof – posted about Muir’s status as a Cowboy on Facebook.
Asher threatened to attack Ms Mileham’s home and he left voicemails in retaliation.
Muir, who is a victim of 67 prior convictions, was convicted on October 2020 for harassing Vicki (and Asher) and also admitting possessing offensive weapons and beating his former partner.
In January 2013, he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
Last summer, he was again on the streets. Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court earlier this month heard that his criminal spree under the guise The Cladding and Roofing Company’ continued.
Muir, from Yarmouth, admitted conning six customers – including Ms Mileham – out of £48,300 by failing to complete work, and pleaded guilty to seven fraud charges.
Muir, despite being not registered, had already charged Ms Mileham VAT.
Vicki Mileham’s Great Yarmouth house has an unusual wall that was built during the extension.
Demolished: Vicki Mileham’s botched Extension has been demolished. A building inspector had advised that the extension should be removed.
Trades as The Cladding and Roofing Company and he borrowed money for two unfinished jobs.
Lloyd of Gorleston (Norfolk) pleaded guilty to last month’s knowingly and recklessly engaging in a business practice that was contrary to professional diligence.
In a prosecution brought by Norfolk Trading Standards, Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court heard he pocketed £67,300 of Ms Mileham’s cash but completed work worth only £5,000, with another £2,000 spent on kitchen units.
Lloyd and Muir are scheduled to receive sentences at Norwich Crown Court, on an unspecified date.
They could face prosecution under the Proceeds of Crime Act and be sentenced.
Ms. Mileham has now set her sights on the hearing that will help her recover her cash.
Mother-of-two, the mother of two said that she sold almost everything and is now working six days a week to provide a roof over her family’s heads.
“Two decades later, I have been trying to repay two mortgages.
Though it is a nice win, having Lloyd and Muir convicted does not change the reality. They should do the right thing and repay me.
Ms. Mileham says it will take her three additional years to correct their poor craftsmanship.
“I finally got the extension’s exterior rebuilt but the interior is not yet complete,” she stated.
“We had to reverse because of the extensive damage done to the house. The ceilings in the upstairs rooms needed to be replaced. All of my hallways, stairs, landings, and living rooms need to be replastered and refloored.
“I have only completed half of the kitchen and the half bathroom. It’s a stop-start job, until I’m able to afford it.”
Personally, I prefer Muir and Lloyd to be free in order for them to earn enough money to compensate me.