Victims of a Calgary contractor whose negligence cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars erupted in cheers in a courtroom Friday after he was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution.
"I'm overwhelmed," said Brian Chubb, one of the victims. "I think it's wonderful, it's what we were hoping for."
Kieron Warren was taken into custody by a sheriff after Provincial court Judge George Gaschler delivered his sentence on Friday afternoon.
Warren was found guilty of Fair Trading Act charges of misleading customers, not being licensed, failing to comply with contracts and failing to refund payment for incomplete work done in 2011 and 2012.
A numbered company connected to Warren and his mother were also fined for Fair Trade Act violations.
The consumer protection legislation requires companies to have a licence — which Warren did not have — in order to demand pre-payment for services.
"This is about stopping an individual who doesn't want to play by the rules," said Chubb.
Gaschler found very little work had been done aside from demolition in the homes of all six families who gave money to Warren ahead of promised renovations.
"[Warren] scrambled to find anyone with a tool pouch to attend the job sites," said Gaschler. "In all cases, tradesmen skills were deficient."
When the families complained, Warren said he needed even more money to complete the renovations.
Chubb was one of six complainants who hired Warren between June 2011 and August 2012. He paid Warren $28,000 to remodel his kitchen, but very little work was done and some of the completed renovation had to be ripped out.
Prosecutor Roy Smith asked the judge to sentence Warren to six to nine months in jail while defence lawyer Pawel Milczarek proposed a $33,000 fine.
Chubb isn't hopeful he'll see the restitution money Warren has been ordered to pay, but he does believe this sentence will send a message to other contractors.
"I think this is setting precedent."
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