Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s builder nephew had no shortage of excuses for why he failed to finish clients’ work – including ‘stress’ and even bleeding from the backside.
Texts obtained by Daily Mail Australia show the litany of reasons tradie Mitchell James Cole, 29, offered one client for repeated alleged worksite no-shows in 2018.
A Sydney woman spent about $5,000 on Cole for pool and timber decking work that September. But the work was never finished and the scorned client couldn’t recover her lost funds because Cole wasn’t a licensed builder.
In one message explaining why he’d failed to show up on site, Cole claimed: ‘I’ve been in hospital since Sunday afternoon I get out this afternoon.’
The woman replied: ‘Hope you are ok. What happened? I wish you had of sent me a message. When can we sort out my place? I need to discuss course of action with you at my place.’
Cole then claimed that he had suffered ‘stress an (sic) was bleeding from backside.’
Uncle ScoMo: Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his nephew by marriage Mitchell James Cole during a Christmas shindig at Kirribilli House in 2018
Mitchell Cole told a client he hadn’t been working as ‘I’ve been in hospital since Sunday afternoon’. Mr Cole claimed that he’d been suffering stress and bleeding
Cole was blunt when describing what had happened to him. He had suffered stress and bleeding from the backside, but quickly bounced back from his ailments
However, he quickly bounced back from those ailments, asking if the woman was available the following afternoon, so he could start work the next day.
The woman agreed to make arrangements to be home about 5.30pm. But the next day he texted her, saying: ‘Can we change to tomorrow morning I’ll be there.’
Cole never showed up that day or the next, she alleged, despite pledging ‘100%’ that he would be there.
‘I called again and he said that he had been in hospital as he was “stressed and bleeding from the backside”,’ the woman said in a statement to NSW Fair Trading.
Stress an bleeding from backside
Mitchell Cole on why he had been hospitalised and could not attend work
‘He stated he wanted to finish the job “100%” and would complete the job. He promised to come the next day to do the work but he didn’t show up as usual.
‘Cole continued to ask me for more money even when he wasn’t even turning up to finish the job.’
A few days later, Cole insisted that he had finished a task, even though the client said she couldn’t see what work was done.
‘Each day he said he would either come to fix it or continue work or said he had actually been at my place (I was at work),’ she said.
‘He never went or did any of the things he said in the messages that he was doing. All lies.’
Mr Cole has been operating under a series of business names over the past few years, including Nexo Build
Repeated assurances: Messages show that Cole often said he would ‘be there 100 per cent’ – however his client alleged to NSW Fair Trading that he rarely showed
She claimed to have only seen apprentices working on site.
The woman later demanded he remove his skip bin from her property, which she claimed he loaded up with waste from other sites. Cole replied to say the bin was in ‘my company name witch states I’m aloud to put my waste and material in (sic)’.
Another client, James McCall, from Menai in Sydney’s south, said Cole told him at one point that he had a medical issue involving his lungs and couldn’t work for months.
Cole operated by contacting prospective clients through local Facebook pages. Mr McCall said Cole came out to his home and ‘genuinely came across like he knew what he was doing’.
‘He was reasonably priced. He had all the gear – he looked legit.’
He bragged to Mr McCall of being related to the nation’s leader, showing photographs of himself at Kirribilli House in Christmas 2018, barely a metre away from the Prime Minister.
Mr McCall said he paid Cole $23,000 to tile his pool and erect some fencing but alleged the tradesman would rarely show up and claimed what work he did was riddled with issues.
‘I’d ring him and text him and he’d never get back to me,’ he claimed.
Mr Cole is seen in 2019 when he was confronted by an A Current Affair reporter on the street in an unedifying moment for a relative of the nation’s leader
James McCall alleged that he would call Cole and text him but he wouldn’t show up
Mr McCall said he handed $23,000 over for work on his pool plus fencing
Daily Mail Australia revealed this week that Cole has been charged with 20 offences by NSW Fair Trading.
Among them were six charges of doing residential work while unlicensed and five charges of performing building work without insurance.
His case will come before Parramatta Local Court next Thursday.
Cole has previously been convicted of six counts of doing building work unlicensed and fined $60,000. He did not respond to a request for comment.
As for the prime minister, Mr Morrison has previously said he was ‘deeply concerned’ about allegations against his nephew.
‘Mitchell is my nephew by marriage and as a result occasionally attends family events,’ he said.
‘However, that is the extent of contact I have with Mitchell. Mitchell, like anyone else, should be held fully accountable for any of his actions.’