Builder who 'entirely devastated' client's home spared jail

A builder has been spared prison after “entirely devastating” the home of a client who refused to pay for renovation work which had been carried out.

Believe Osiuhwu (aged 48), who is also known as Aso Rock, was hired to carry out building work but only received partial payment because the client was not happy with the quality.

In response, he broke into the house and destroyed the work he had carried out as well as causing extensive damage to the rest of the property. The total damage was estimated at €18,000.

Judge Patrick McCartan examined photographs of the house and noted it was “entirely devastated”, every room was “wrecked” and “lumps” had been taken out of furniture, flooring and coving.

Judge McCartan noted Osiuhwu’s reasons for carrying out the damage but said his actions “were not a way to settle a dispute and that fact seems to have dawned on the accused very late in the day.”

The judge noted that the builder had €1,000 in court as part compensation and that this was a significant sum for him given his dire financial state.

He imposed a 15-month sentence, suspended on condition Osiuhwu pays over another €4,000 to the victim within two years.

Osiuhwu of Briarswood Lawn, Mulhuddart had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Nutgrove Avenue, Rathfarnham on October 30, 2011. He later changed his plea to guilty after Judge McCartan rejected a submission that his arrest and detention were unlawful.

Garda David Sheehan told Cathleen Noctor BL that Osiuhwu was hired to carry out extensive renovation work to the house in return for €8,000. After completion the occupant said he was unhappy with its quality and only paid over €3,000.

Osiuhwu tried in vain to obtain the balance of the money and a short time later broke into the house while it was unoccupied and went from room to room, destroying the work he had done.

He was later arrested and co-operated fully with gardaí. He has four previous convictions arising out of a road traffic incident.

The court heard the occupant, who has no insurance himself, has already paid to have some of the damage repaired.

Defence counsel Vincent Heneghan BL said his client receives only occasional building work and is in debt to the Revenue for €1,000.

He added that Osiuhwu’s actions were irrational and borne out of frustration at the situation.

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