11:00AM, Wednesday 21 February 2018
A building contractor who failed to finish renovation work after charging five families thousands of pounds has been found guilty of fraud.
Stewart Rasala, of Portsmouth Road, Cobham, stood trial at Reading Crown Court for four weeks, with the jury finally returning its guilty verdict on Thursday.
Jurors heard during the trial how the 61-year-old had been paid £429,945 to carry out work at five houses in Maidenhead, Taplow and Eton Wick through his company Regency Home & Co.
After agreeing contracts to renovate the properties between February, 23, 2014 and October, 16, 2015, the court was told how Rasala left them in a ‘state of disrepair’.
One of his victims, Laurel Ashton, of Belmont Road, Maidenhead, paid Rasala £76,500 to carry out a double-side extension at her family home.
But the work was never completed, which left Mrs Ashton having to borrow from family members and banks to pay another builder to finish the job.
Jurors found Rasala, also known as Stewart Regent, guilty of five counts of fraud.
Five alternative counts were not put to the jury.
The building contractor will be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday, March 2.
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