A “ROGUE builder” left victims in South Wales more than £150,000 out of pocket and, while waiting to be sentenced, threatened someone with a BB gun near Newport.

Daniel Roche, 47, went to Jonathan Straw’s address on Lower Road, Llandevaud, and threatened him on his doorstep with a BB gun.

Before the incident, father-of-three Roche destroyed the plans of a young couple who had finally bought their first home and were forced to put back their ambitions of starting a family because of his destructive work patterns, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Roche was initially described as an honest hard-working builder, however he became overwhelmed by his workload coupled with managing an alcohol and gambling addiction.

In November 2021, Roche took on work to change a property into student accommodation. However, the court heard, Roche wouldn’t show up to the site, blaming health reasons or claiming other works had fallen behind. This was despite his client having paid the deposit plus £17,000 for Roche to install a new kitchen. In total, the victim was left out of pocket to the sum of £90,000.

Roche eventually abandoned this job in February 2022, while simultaneously replying to an advert for work in Merthyr Tydfil. On this occasion, Roche demanded money giving excuses such as he’d fallen out with “the plasterer” and had his tools stolen. This work, or lack of, would cost his client up to £60,000.

Also in February 2022, Roche took on a job worth £7,600. Again, he never completed the works, and, despite promising a refund, he never gave one.

Roche found his final victim in March 2022, and got angry with her when she refused to pay him more money for what was described as “entirely inadequate work”.

Ramification work for Roche’s botched jobs came in at £11,000, £12,000 and £18,000.

Then, while awaiting sentence for his crimes, on December 12, 2023, Roche showed up on Jonathan Straw’s doorstep, in Llandevaud, pointed a gun at him and threatened him - to the point Roche gave Mr Straw a “final” countdown from three.

Earlier that day Roche had purchased the BB gun on the pretence of wanting to shoot rats, and, after his erratic appearance at Mr Straw’s address, tried to return it, saying it didn’t work, but was denied a refund. The gun was never found. Roche alleges he threw it in a river.

South Wales Argus: Roche decided to threaten someone with a BB gun while awaiting sentenceRoche decided to threaten someone with a BB gun while awaiting sentence (Image: Gwent Police)

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Despite the huge sums of money owed, there’s been no specific order made for Roche to pay his victims back due to the court not knowing whether Roche actually has the ability to restore his debts.

It will add further heartbreak to his victims, two of which had impact statements read out in court.

One, an immigrant from Hong Kong, said their marriage almost failed because of Roche’s antics while their son’s education was severely affected. Another said Roche ripped out their kitchen and left them with no replacement, leading to health problems.

Roche of William Street, Ynyshir, Porth, Rhondda Cynon Taf, was given three years nine months for participating in a fraudulent business and eight months for firearm offences to run consecutively.