Two years prison for developer who defrauded £50,000 from flood victims on Huntington Road

A property developer who fraudulently took almost £50,000 from victims of the 2015 floods has been sentenced to 24 months imprisonment at York Crown Court yesterday (7 August 2018).

Owen Danter, aged 40 of 78 Munstead Way, Welton Brough, East Yorkshire, was the sole director of OTD Development Ltd before he voluntarily liquidated the company on 20 April 2017.

He was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment in relation to the 12 charges of Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading for which he had previously pleaded guilty on 19 June 2018.

The charges related to building work by the defendants at two neighbouring addresses on Huntington Road, which both suffered extensive flooding in December 2015.

Both properties had to be vacated by the owners due to the extent of the flood damage.

In June 2016, Mr Danter was employed to carry out the required repairs at both addresses, and by agreement, some additional building work.

At both properties goods were paid for but not supplied. At one property Mr Danter issued nine invoices with a total value of £35,063.82 and to the other he issued four invoices with a total value of £14,483.

On four occasions Mr Danter requested payment be made into a different bank account, because he claimed, hiis bank account had been hacked. He provided alternative bank account details which were his mother’s. The bank confirmed there was no such hacking incident.

By late February 2017, the work was not finished, despite completion dates of November 2016 and December 2016 being previously given, leaving both properties uninhabitable.

In December 2016, Mr Danter disappeared for several days, claiming to have suffered exhaustion and a breakdown, but returned to work.

In February 2017, Mr Danter left the addresses for good, claiming he had suffered a complete breakdown. Between June 2016 and February 2017 both consumers were invoiced and paid for goods and services which did not materialise.

When Mr Danter was challenged about it he gave a variety of reasons – that the articles had been ordered, or that the articles had been paid for or that the articles had been delivered and were in his storage facility.

At interview with Trading Standards officers, Mr Danter admitted his management of the company was poor and that he had taken on too much work and had been involved with four other neighbouring properties. He also explained he had been suffering from depression and was dependent on medication.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, executive member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “Deliberately taking people’s money and not carrying out the work would have a significant impact on most people. But to knowingly inflict that on residents who were in a vulnerable situation following the 2015 floods is far worse. This prosecution shows that we will do our utmost to protect residents from unscrupulous traders.

“Anyone wanting to report poor quality work or unfair trading practices should call the Consumer Helpline on 0345 4040 506.”

HHJudge Hickey told the court: “The deception period was 28 August 2016 to 10 February 2017. The victim personal statements and photos of dilapidation make sober viewing.”

York flooding – more details emerge of £45 million action plan

A meeting on 4th September will, receive an update report on plans to tackle flooding problems in York.

In late December 2015 followed an intense period of rainfall across November and December due to the impacts of Storms Desmond and Eva, record river levels were observed in many river catchments across the north of England.

More than 4000 homes and 2000 businesses flooded across Yorkshire with 453 properties and 174 businesses flooded in York.

Funding was  allocated to the Environment Agency (EA) following the floods to renew existing and provide new flood defences across the City.

£17m has been allocated to the Foss Barrier improvements and £45m to the wider flood defences across the city

The Environment Agency has produced an update of its 91 point action list, as well as a briefing leaflet (see below).

The decision meeting is open to the public and takes place at West Offices on Monday 4th September starting at 5:30pm

Flooding support deadline set to be 31 May 2017

Floods cost City £3.3 million

The deadline for York residents and businesses to apply for up to £5,000 flooding support is set to be agreed for 31 May 2017.

The national flood resilience grant has helped a wide range of homes and businesses prepare for future flood events, which follows the devastating floods in December 2015.

To-date the council has received 200 applications for support and approved funding for £758,000.

The Council and other authorities were criticised for a slow reaction following the floods on Boxing Day 2015. It was several weeks before financial help was made available through the Flood Disaster fund.and other initiatives.

Anyone who hasn’t yet asked for financial support can still do so.

The application form for the grant is available to complete online at .

What a difference a year makes


Flood warnings 26th Dec 2015

It’s exactly a year since it became clear that something was going very wrong with the flood defences on the River Foss

. Few, including the media and the Council, initially reacted to the warnings issued by the Environment Agency but by 6:00pm properties were being inundated.

The Foss barrier pumps had failed.

A year later and residents are still waiting for the independent report into the flood to be published

However, this year the weather is much better No flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency 

& Christmas Day this year was one of the warmest on record as these photos illustrate


York - Selby cycle tarck 25th Dec 2016

York – Selby cycle track 25th Dec 2016

Rainbow over Acomb 25th Dec 2016

Rainbow over Acomb 25th Dec 2016



York Flood Inquiry verdict not expected until next year

Floods cost City £3.3 million

Floods cost City £3.3 million

It seems that over 12 months will have elapsed between the Boxing Day 2015 flooding crisis in York and the earliest date that changes to flood response practices in the City could be implemented.

The Council now says that its Executive will not consider the report of an independent floods inquiry until 26th January 2017.

The Inquiry was set up last Spring by the Council with a budget of £50,000. It was expected to deliver an early verdict on the performance of the authorities in dealing with the floods which devastated many parts of the City which lay near the Foss.

The performance of the Council itself on the 26th and 27th December was subject to criticism, with communications and relief work largely in the hands of the emergency services and volunteers on those days. There was no useful advice on the Councils web site at that time although information was updated later.

Nearly 12 months after the floods some businesses are only now reopening.

In the interim the Environment Agency have fitted powerful new pumps at the Foss Barrier while work to protect Leeman Road has been finished. Some local watercourses like the Tang Hall Beck have been cleared of debris by volunteers.

But large areas of the City remain vulnerable if a combination of melting snow and falling rain causes the Ouse to break its banks.

The York Disaster Fund – established to deal with emergencies of this nature – was also ineffective in the first week of the crisis and even now has only distributed around half of the £1.3 million raised by donations.

The Independent Inquiry has been taking evidence from the public over the last couple of months.

It’s membership – a Barrister and two water industry professionals – has been criticised for lacking local authority/emergency planning expertise.

So, what they will conclude is anyone’s guess.

However clearly when flooding does occur – as it will – the City needs to be quicker and more professional in its response

We can only hope that there are no major floods in the city before February at the earliest!

Concerned residents can find more information by clicking these links:

Flood risk – how likely are you to be affected?

The Environment Agency has updated its on line maps which show flood risks across the country.

In the west of York – away from the rivers and becks – there is generally a low flood risk. However surface water, which hasn’t been able to drain away, can still be a problem

Click on the map below to see how you home might be affected.

click to visit site

click to visit site

Community centre in Chapelfields organises post flood clean out

The incredible generosity of residents immediately after the Boxing Day floods in the City has left a storage headache for some voluntary groups.

floods childs toyMore material was donated than could be used by victims and much of it has remained in storage for the last 6 months.

The materials issue parallels a similar situation with financial donations. The York (Floods) Disaster Fund has still to allocate to victims over half of the funds that have been donated to it. 

Most organisation are now trying to move on although for some – such as the still closed Jorvik centre – recovery may still take many more months

Space is needed at the Sanderson Community House in Chapelfields where officials say the time has come for a final clear out and an attempt to return the centre to its normal day to day use.

They have set a date for the clear out as tomorrow MONDAY 18 JULY from 8am until 4pm.

A message says, “We are Inviting community groups and charities to pop along and collect any of the following items:

  • Cleaning materials (Bleach, clothes, mop buckets, mops etc.)

    Sanderson House community centre

    Sanderson House community centre

  • Bedding
  • Tinned foods and cooking sauces
  • Drinks
  • Cereals and biscuits
  • Pasta, pot noodles
  • Baby products (Baby food, Nappies, wipes)
  • Toys and books
  • Toiletries

We are also looking for volunteers to help on the day, whether you are available for a couple of hours or the whole day your time will be appreciated.  Tasks will include; moving items, transporting boxes to venues across York and cleaning up the centre.

If you want to collect some of the items listed above or volunteer on 18 July, please contact Charlotte on or for further information call 07850 001 002.

For all those volunteers you will be plenty of refreshments and snacks to keep you going“.

An inquiry team is currently looking at all aspects of the flooding crisis which hit the City over the Christmas period.

Several organisations, including the Council and some charities, were criticised at the time for being slow to respond, leaving the gap to be filled by willing – but largely uncoordinated – volunteers.  It is this state of preparedness that should be one of the major issues under the Inquiries spotlight.

We hope that the materials donated and money collected will all now be put to good use. 


Public meeting to explain plans for Foss barrier upgrade on Friday & Saturday

The Environment Agency will share its plans for upgrading the Foss Barrier and seek views on options for reducing flood risk throughout the City of York at a public exhibition this week.

The exhibition will be at Hotel 53, Piccadilly, York on Friday 20 May (12pm – 7pm) and Saturday 21 May (10am – 5pm), and will be an opportunity for residents and businesses to comment on flood defence proposals.

Environment Agency and City of York Council staff will be on hand to discuss the proposals and give advice on flood resilience.

There will also be a chance to see copies of the Foss Barrier Investigation report, released last week, which explained how water got inside the Foss Barrier during the floods on 26 December.

In York, a further £45 million has been secured to upgrade York’s flood defences. The additional funding means that areas of York will gain further benefit from reduced flood risk over the next five years.

Foss barrier control room flooding – Inquiry report published

click to read

click to read

A report on events which led to the raising of the Foss barrier on Boxing Day last year – and the subsequent flooding of hundreds of York properties – has been published.

A copy can be downloaded by clicking here 

It is clear that the potential flooding of the control room was a major factor in the events of that day.

Water entered the supposed watertight building through a service tunnel which had been allowed to subside. The subsidence had caused waterproof seals to fail.

The report concludes with advice on how to prevent a repetition of the problems

Access openings between the building and the service tunnel should be sealed so that when water enters the service tunnel it cannot rise and flood the building. The drainage could be configured in a way which eliminates the need to pass through the perimeter of the building below flood level ie by having a small pumping system to pump it up and over the flood risk level. After adopting these remedial steps there will always be a residual risk of water entering the building because it is located below extreme river levels. This residual risk can be eliminated by relocating the water sensitive equipment above the flood risk level”.

The report was commissioned by the Environment Agency itself.

It pointedly failed to ask the consultants, who undertook the inquiry, to assess where responsibility for the maintenance failings rested (although it is pretty obvious).

We must now wait for the findings of the City Council appointed review to hold agencies and individuals to account.