Roofer jailed after 'intimidating' elderly Wirral couple over unnecessary repairs (From Wirral Globe)
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Roofer jailed after 'intimidating' elderly Wirral couple over unnecessary repairs
4:06pm Monday 28th January 2013 in News
A MAN has been jailed after “intimidating” an elderly Wirral couple into having unnecessary repairs done to their home.
Gwyn Hamilton, of New Start Park, Nantwich, was imprisoned for five months and banned from cold-calling residents in England and Wales for the rest of his life.
The 50-year-old, who was also disqualified from driving for 18 months, was branded a “liar” by District Judge Michael Abelson at Wirral Magistrates Court on Monday as he was sentenced for fraud and aggressive trade practices.
The court heard how Hamilton had called on the couple, who were aged in their 80s, last July and told them work needed doing to roofing tiles on their home in Bromborough.
According to Judge Abelson, the pair refused to agree to the work but Hamilton insisted that the job needed to be carried out as “bad weather” was coming.
A price of £37 was initially quoted but that later escalated to £275 after his colleague went up on the roof to start work.
The money was never paid, however, after the couple stood their ground and refused to hand it over.
Vic Wozny, defending, told how the case had taken its toll on Hamilton’s well-being and argued that a prison sentence would destroy his livelihood.
He said: “He does suffer from depression and has done for considerable time and has said that the last week has probably been the worst of his life.
“He is a terrified man and is terrified of the conclusion of this case and is in a state of fear.”
Sentencing Hamilton, District Judge Abelson paid tribute to the woman for being “strong-willed” and said he needed to “protect” other elderly people from similar incidents.
He said: “The lady had never had any trouble with her premises and she made it clear that she didn’t want any work done. Unfortunately you weren’t prepared to take no for answer. She wanted to get rid of you .
“You were quoting a figure of £37 but what a surprise, it became considerably more when your colleague got up on the roof and started to work on the tiles.”
And he added: “Unfortunately, you’re a liar – that’s the problem. Liars don’t tell the truth and that’s the difficulty here.
“You didn’t give her any cooling-off period and said that if she didn’t pay you, you would come and rip off the tiles.
“This is no way to speak to anyone, particularly not the way to speak to someone in the twilight years of their life.
“I have a duty to protect elderly people in Wirral who may be exploited by you and to send a clear message to people like you.”
Hamilton was ordered to pay £2,300 in court costs, £95 of which will be given to compensate the victims for the rebedding of roof tiles after the incident.
As part of a criminal anti-social behaviour order, he was banned from calling at anyone’s home without their prior permission or doing any work without their go-ahead.
Receiving his sentence, Hamilton told the court: “I really do believe God will have his way. He knows I’m innocent.”