Jan 30 2013 by Liam Murphy, Birkenhead News
Man must pay compensation to elderly couple he ‘bullied’
A ROGUE roofer was jailed for five months after being found guilty of pressurising an elderly Wirral couple into having unnecessary work done on their home.
Gwyn Hamilton, 50, was also banned from cold calling at homes anywhere in the country, banned from driving for 18 months and told to pay costs and compensation.
Hamilton was found guilty, following a trial at Wirral magistrates court, of aggressive trading and fraud after he had called at the home of the elderly couple in Barrymore Way, Bromborough last July.
The court heard he had initially called saying the house belonging to the couple, aged 80 and 82, needed work costing £37 but this had quickly spiralled to £275.
Judge Michael Ableson had praised the elderly witness saying she was a “lady of integrity” but Hamilton had been intimidating and bullying towards her and her husband who suffered from Parkinson's disease and was recovering from a quadruple by-pass operation.
Calling Hamilton a “liar”, Judge Ableson said: "You told her if she did not pay you would come and rip tiles off her roof. That is not the way to speak to anyone. The effect on elderly people of this sort of behaviour can be devastating.
"I have a duty to protect elderly people who may be exploited by you."
Hamilton responded to the judge saying: "God will give me the punishment I deserve", to which the judge replied: "God's punishment will have to wait until a later date. I am only here to deal with temporal matters, that is a spiritual one."
Vic Wozni, defending, told the court Hamilton, of New Start Park, Nantwich, Cheshire, had suffered from depression and had been “terrified” at the prospect of prison.
He also told the judge Hamilton had said he would no longer carry out the type of work which had led to the charges.
Hamilton was disqualified from driving for 18 months and was ordered to pay costs and compensation totalling £2,300 for the fraud charge, but was then also made subject to a CRASBO – criminal antisocial behaviour order.
The court heard from Brian Treadwell, counsel for trading standards, who said Hamilton had been carrying out work that was sub-standard, over-priced and “not wanted or needed” and was “described by his victims as threatening and intimidating”.
The CRASBO permanently prohibits Hamilton from cold-calling, carrying out work unless by prior arrangement, or encouraging others to do so. Judge Ableson said: “You must never again call at anyone's home peddling anything.”