A “GREEDY” builder from Christchurch has been jailed after failing to pay almost £110,000 in tax while working on high-end projects in London.

Christopher Nash, of Troak Close, pocketed £49,000 in cash and cashed cheques totalling £199,000 as he completed building and construction schemes in the capital over the course of seven years.

But he was foiled following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Officials found the 60-year-old had failed to pay any income tax or National Insurance Contributions between April 2010 and April 2017.

In total, he cheated taxpayers out of £108,131.

During the investigation into another Christchurch builder, Carlo Russell, of Smugglers Lane North, it was discovered that the two men had worked closely together and earned hundreds of thousands of pounds between April 2010 and April 2015. Russell, who had given Nash the £49,000 cash, was jailed for two years and four months in June 2017 for evading tax and National Insurance.

He was also ordered to repay £141,453 after a court heard he bought two houses mortgage-free while claiming it was “virtually impossible” to make a profit in the trade.

Nash recently admitted tax fraud.

This week, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison by a judge sitting at Bournemouth Crown Court. Proceedings are under way to recover his ill-gotten gains.

Zoe Ellerbeck, assistant director for HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “As a self-employed builder, Nash knew of his responsibilities to pay tax and National Insurance Contributions.

“He was well paid for his services but he got greedy.

“Nash made a conscious decision to cheat the public purse, but he was caught out and now he’s behind bars.

“The money he stole is equivalent to the wages of five newly qualified paramedics to serve the south coast."

Anyone with information about fraud is asked to contact HMRC online or call the ‘fraud hotline’ on 0800 788 887.