A PLUMBER who botched jobs at seven homes, taking over £15,000 for the work and putting clients’ safety at risk, has been jailed for 18 months.

John Monaighan of Beresford Avenue, Slough, was sentenced last week at Reading Crown Court for seven counts of unfair trading between May 2015 and May 2017.

He was paid a total of £15,595 for work that he either failed to finish or left in a poor state across the south east, including at homes in Burnham and Slough. He traded under the names of Home Counties Plumbing; Splash Plumbers and Slash Plumbing.

One botched job saw homeowners receive an electric shock when they first used their newly refurbished bathroom, as Monaighan had poorly installed an electric shower. During another, Monaighan left the job unexpectedly – posting the keys through the letterbox as he went – and leaving electrical wires exposed and waste in the house.

Councillor Norman Jorgenson, chair of the Joint Public Protection Committee, said: “This kind of offending that leaves people with damaged property, out of pocket or risks their health and well-being is completely unacceptable.

“This was reflected in the sentencing which I hope sends a clear message to would be perpetrators.

“The partnership will always investigate matters of this nature and where appropriate legal action will follow.”

Monaighan was brought to justice following an investigation by the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) Trading Standards Service working with the Joint Case Management Unit and West Berkshire Legal Services. It only began after a resident from Newbury complained and revealed a number of further victims who Monaighan had done work for. The work ‘contravened the requirements of professional diligence’, West Berkshire Council said.

A spokesman added: “Furthermore in some instances the work was so substandard that it posed a safety risk to homeowners.”

A homeowner in Burnham employed Monaighan, who was then trading as Your Plumber, to do a job. After receiving part payment, Monaighan left the job unfinished with sewerage pipes unsealed.

Another homeowner in Slough employed Monaighan, trading as Splash Plumbing, to update her bathroom. After providing an estimate of five days to complete the work, Monaighan failed to turn up to work after 10 days, and after receiving full payment, failed to complete snagging works. A leak was later found with the newly installed shower, causing damage to the homeowners ceiling and causing it to collapse. A different Slough resident paid him £1,620 for work at his property that was left unfinished by Monaighan.

In addition to the 18 months jail sentence, Monaighan was ordered to pay £500 in compensation - the sum being the total amount of money in his bank account.

The spokesman said that in the original Newbury case, Monaighan had left the bathroom concerned ‘in a potentially very dangerous state with the homeowners exposed to risks of fire and electric shock’. This followed the poor installation of an electric shower.

The spokesman added: “The completed work was confirmed to be in breach of building regulations with no application made to Building Control, as required, prior to commencing work.”

Meanwhile, at a home in nearby Reading, residents had wanted their bathroom and wooden flooring updated. But Monaighan damaged the new bathtub he fitted and ended up walking off the job, leaving it unfinished.