Man to pay £10,000 for botched job on Sarisbury ‘dream’ home

A heating engineer who refurbished his “dream” home in Sarisbury Green and failed to have the electrics installed correctly before selling it has to pay more than £10,000 in compensation, fines and court costs.

Scott David Lemon set out to transform a bungalow in Brook Lane, with his then girlfriend, into a house where they could live for the rest of their lives, create a family and which would eventually be inherited by his children.

The failed electric works were at the house in Brook Lane

The failed electric works were at the house in Brook Lane

But Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard his dream turned into a “nightmare” after new owners in the house found scorching to light fittings that had over-heated because the electrical work in the house was not properly carried out.

The 32-year-old, who now lives in Mayfair Court in Botley, had spent £85,000 on the building work between July 9, 2007 and July 10, 2012 before he, his fiancée and their 18-month-old daughter moved out to start a family life in a new home, away from the home he bought with his former partner.

Lemon did a lot of the work on the house himself, which included laying out the electrical cables, and then hired contractors to fit the work into place, prosecutor Tim Moores said.

Building Inspector William West visited the house on 13 occasions during the works, but this did not include electrical testing and no problems were noticed, Mr Moores added.

Lemon, who specialises in refrigeration, had an electrician test the electrics and sign a certification to state that the electrical work had been carried out to British Standard. Lemon did not have a valid qualification that enabled him to test it and sign the certification to approve the work.

In September 2012, a month after the new owners had moved to the property, Fareham Borough Council commissioned  a full inspection of the house and discovered the failures.

Lemon had thrown away invoices, documents and contacts related to the contractors’ work once he had moved and therefore as the homeowner during the development had to take liability for the inadequacies, the court heard.

Sunyana Sharma, defending, said when Lemon set out to create his dream property he “never, ever expected to face this case” and believed he would have been “pulled up on it” by Mr West if the work was not to standard.

“This was going to be a home for life,” she said. “This was his opportunity to create something special.

“He relied, unfortunately, on his uncle to sign off the electrics before selling off the property. He did not consider there were any problems.

“He accepted that he did not carry out the work, but he accepts that he was the home owner and had the duty to ensure everything was done properly. He did not want to expose anyone to any risk.

“He didn’t perceive any faults or concerns and I can assure you it came as an absolute shock when Fareham Borough Council told him this and that this dream had become an absolute nightmare.”

Lemon pleaded guilty to six charges of contravening/failing to comply with regulations under the Building Regulations 2000 and the Building Act 1984. These were as follows:

  • Failed to ensure adequate enclosure of live parts of the electrical system namely unprotected lighting junction box in lounge cupboard.
  • Failed to ensure adequate contiguous earth path in the upstairs lighting circuit
  • Failed to ensure adequately located cable run in kitchen ceiling
  • Failed to ensure adequately protected wiring system under sink in kitchen
  • Failed to ensure separate control and wiring of an electrical circuit namely an overcrowded consumer unit located in the lounge
  • Failed to ensure that fixed equipment namely light fittings, are situated at sufficient distance from any fixed object or building element so that the object or element is not subjected to a dangerous temperature in normal conditions.

The new owners paid for re-wiring, plastering and painting to be done to rectify the damage caused, which cost them £5,637.72. They have to have more work done to resolve the issues.

Magistrates ordered Lemon to pay £5,637.72 of compensation, a £15 victim surcharge and court costs of £1,500.

He was fined £500 for each of the six charges – a total fine of £3,000.


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