A COUPLE whose dream move was turned into a “nightmare” by a builder have blasted his court sentence as “a joke”.

Katy and Mick Finch moved to Weymouth to run a guest house but were left out of pocket when Weyland Construction owner Martin Lobo misled them and they had to pay thousands having his work redone.

The couple are outraged that Lobo is continuing to trade under new company name Weymouth Glass after Weyland went into liquidation and said the £5,000 compensation they were awarded is not enough.

“The sentence is an absolute joke,” said Mr Finch, 49. “He carries on trading and what’s £5,000 to him?

“It cost us £30,000 to put the work right and the £5,000 doesn’t even cover the cost of the tiles we had to replace.”

The couple wanted to raise the roof on Melcombe Villa Guest House in Gloucester Street, Weymouth, to add new living quarters for themselves.

Work started on the roof and they paid Lobo a £6,500 deposit before making further instalments. The agreement hit trouble when Lobo incorrectly told them the planning application for the new windows was going to be agreed and they paid another £2,125 deposit – which was later refunded.

At the start of this year when Weyland asked for more cash the couple refused and terminated the contract.

To their shock they then found out concrete tiles had been used instead of the natural slate that had been agreed in the planning application and fibreglass had been used instead of lead. Then water started leaking into the house and they had to find £30,000 to get the work finished – which is still being done by Mr Finch.

Mrs Finch, 48, said: “The £5,000 is better than nothing and without Trading Standards we wouldn’t have been able to do anything. I’m still angry as it’s not just or fair.

“I feel he shouldn’t be allowed to trade when he’s done that to us. It was a dream move that he turned into a nightmare. He knocked us to rock bottom and we nearly had breakdowns.”

The couple thanked friends for lending them money and residents in the Park District who pitched in, and paid tribute to Abington Construction Ltd, C and G Electrical and KG GRP Flat Roofing for their good work.