A COWBOY builder has been ordered to repay more than £36k to a Halesowen couple for carrying out shoddy work at their home.

Eduart Cela was ordered to pay back £36,772 to the homeowners and costs of £8,624 for bodging an extension, when he appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court on May 2. 

Cela, of Quinton Lane, Birmingham, was given three months to pay back the homeowners or face an 18-month imprisonment in default.

Dr Mayada Abuaffan, director of public health at Dudley Council, said: "Trading standards have been extremely thorough in this investigation in order to trace Cela’s finances, so the homeowners are able to receive their money back.

"Let this be a warning to others that we will leave no stone unturned.

"I am delighted we have managed to obtain justice for this resident."

In May 2023 Cela pleaded guilty to an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations at Dudley Magistrates’ Court, following an investigation by trading standards into shoddy work carried out at couple’s home in Halesowen.

Cela started work in June 2021 after being given architectural plans of an extension.

The couple paid a total of £31,700 in staged payments during the work.

When the extension was completed in September 2021, the couple were unhappy and made a complaint to trading standards.

The work was inspected by an independent surveyor who concluded that it exhibited a severe lack of skill and care.

In December 2023, Cela was sentenced to a two-year community order, ten rehabilitation days and 240 hours unpaid work.

However, trading standards were not finished with their investigation and began to look into Cela’s finances.

He was in court on May 2 when he was ordered to pay the money back to the couple.