Dodgy builder skips out on fines, convictions

By Alice Richard
Monday, 23 May, 2016

The law has caught up with a NSW builder who charged clients huge deposits for landscaping and pool building work before disappearing with the money. However, in keeping with his modus operandi, he has now skipped town and is thought to be living in Western Australia.

John Francis Toal (also known as Sean Toal and Rory O’Brady), through his company Rock Cliff Holdings, would quote for decking, concreting, fencing and pool construction work then demand cash deposits as high as 50% of the total job cost before vanishing into thin air.

He was prosecuted by NSW Fair Trading and was convicted of a raft of offences and ordered to pay $71,520 in fines and costs. His company was also convicted of multiple offences and ordered to pay a further $7180 in fines and costs. He was also ordered to pay three of his victims a total of $17,930 in compensation. However, he failed to appear in court when convicted and sentenced.

If Toal continues to avoid facing the charges, NSW Fair Trading will take action to recover the money.

“There are a range of sanctions that can be placed on such people who believe they can avoid complying with court orders by moving interstate or simply not showing up to court at all,” said NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe.

“If neither Mr Toal nor Rock Cliff Holdings Pty Ltd do not pay their fines, court costs and compensation to victims within 28 days [from 4 May], action may be taken to cancel driving licences and bank accounts may be subject to garnishee orders.

“Western Australian authorities will also be notified of Mr Toal’s convictions.”

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