A rogue trader failed to turn up to a court hearing to decide how much cash he made from bodged building jobs across the West Country and West Midlands.

Brad Fairman was spared jail in February after pleading guilty to two counts of fraudulent trading. He was given a 20 month suspended prison sentence and ordered to do 160 hours of unpaid work.

The 27-year-old was told by Judge Peter Blair QC, the honorary Recorder of Bristol: “You fobbed people off with the standard of work and are regarded as a cowboy.”

Fairman, from Blunsdon, had been due before Bristol Crown Court on Monday morning for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing. But when he did not attend, the judge adjourned the case until September 8.

The builder targeted single women, some of whom had suffered recent bereavements. One woman, 86, was left without a working bath or shower and had to wash in her kitchen sink until a relative stepped in to help.

He scammed victims in Royal Wootton Bassett, Oxford, Gloucester, Weymouth and the Midlands.

The regional trading standards team, which together with Bristol City Council led the investigation into Fairman, said he had used aliases and changed his business name six times. One victim was charged more than £10,000 for a bathroom and kitchen.Another was quoted £1,600 for a bathroom refit but charged £3,200 - despite the work never being done.