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Trading standards team at Royal Borough secures its longest-ever sentence

The Trading Standards team at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has secured its longest-ever sentence after a rogue builder was jailed for six years.

Stuart Regent had defrauded residents and left homeowners without windows or a roof after failing to complete projects.

Four homeowners in the borough were left around £250,000 out of pocket when Regent (also known as Stuart Rasala) overcharged them for carrying out building works he never completed.

Trading standards officers began investigating Regent’s behaviour in March 2015 after one of his victims complained.

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One resident paid the defendant to build an extension, but was left without windows or electricity when he abandoned the project after charging them more than £100,000.

The council said another victim was left without a finished roof or flooring and no internal plastering after asking Regent to renovate their home. The builder charged his victims thousands of pounds more than he should have done for the work, it added.

Regent appeared at Reading Crown Court accused of five counts of fraud contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.

A jury unanimously found the 60-year-old guilty of each count at the end of a five-week trial on 15 February.

Regent, of Dockett Eddy, Chertsey, Surrey, was sentenced to six years in prison at Reading Crown Court on 2 March.

Cllr Jesse Grey, cabinet member for environmental services at the Royal Borough, said: “I am very pleased at this outcome and the sentence is the longest we have secured.

“This has been a lengthy and complex investigation and I want to thank officers for the extensive time they have put into this to protect the public from this conman."

He added: “Regent’s crimes have had a profound impact on his victims and I hope this conviction provides some measure of closure to them.

“The scale and breadth of offending enabled our officers to prosecute Regent under the Fraud Act which carries a higher maximum sentence.”

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