After two bounced cheques, Sussex builder takes drastic action against council house owner by knocking down his own work

A builder in West Sussex has taken the drastic action of knocking down a customer's conservatory and porch after she failed to pay £15,000 for the work.

Fed up with not getting paid, Nigel Gray sent two workers round to the house in Shoreham with sledgehammers to demolish the porch.

Photographers snapped away as the workers also took down the back garden conservatory piece by piece before taking it away.

Meanwhile Anita Dovey, a council-house resident who hired Gray to carry out the work before Christmas, remained inside the property and did not protest about the demolition work.

Dovey gave Gray a cheque for £9,600 and a further one for £5,000, both of which bounced.

In a comment to The Argus newspaper, Gray said: "I have been everywhere and there is no one out there to help me. This is costing me about £1,500 to take this all down. The whole thing has come to £21,000 to £22,000.

"I am losing money while the lads are here and not working on another job."

Gray said he approached Adur District Council about the payment problems and it agreed to help him with the demolition work.

Gray said: "The only reason I am smashing it down is because there is no way I am going to be mugged off. I have got two businesses and I may have to close my limited company down because of the money I have lost."