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Rodney Day, 56, was sentenced to seven months home detention and 150 hours of community work. He had previously pleaded guilty to 15 charges of deception and forgery.
Day becomes the first unlicenced builder to be charged under the Crimes Act since the Licensed Building Practitioner's scheme was introduced in 2007.
In a victim impact statement, Milo Homes owner Matt McFarlane said Day had led him to believe he was fully licenced before he hired him as a contractor to work on six Christchurch homes.
He says he considered Day a trusted friend - which has cost him everything he and his wife had worked for.
McFarlane says some contractors now refused to work with him - and he's had to declare bankruptcy.
Fellow victim Peter Adolph also spoke out following Day's sentencing today, with the Canterbury man saying he was a smooth and convincing liar who has caused harm to many people.
"We purchased a property in Harewood and asked Day to give us a quote for altering a garage into a master bedroom and constructing the double garage.
"He spoke very nicely and seemed to be extremely competent.
"We engaged with him and paid a deposit for building materials, he asked for full payment of the amount and we paid a second payment once he had started but not the full amount.
"After some time partway through the work, he told us his son had been involved in a car accident and had serious head injuries, that he was in Dunedin and needed 24/7 care and he left.
"I contacted him several times after this asking him to either complete the work, provide a competent replacement or repay the money we had paid him.
"He was very difficult to communicate with. We arranged several meetings and he turned up to none of them. I contacted the council and was surprised that no documentation had been filed."
Adolph was left more than $25,000 out of pocket and learned he was just one of several of Day's victims.
Following sentencing, Adolph said he was disappointed in the punishment handed down to Day.
"Later we met a number of people who had been ripped off by Day. The cost to me was around $25,000 to $30,000. Not only had he started the work and not finished, but the work had to be redone so I had to pay another builder to come. it cost me another 7000 to 8000 dollars.
"Day appears to be a very smooth and amicable gentleman but he tells a lot of lies and he has ripped off a large number of victims. We are disappointed with today's outcome."