£17,400 payout for victims of cowboy builder
COWBOY builder victim Eric Weighell has been handed £16,400 in compensation that he thought he would never see – straight from the pocket of the criminal who targeted him.
Patrick Connors was ordered to pay back £16,400 to Mr Weighell after admitting aggressive commercial practices when he appeared at Grimsby Crown Court in November 2010.
Last month, as reported, Connors, 21, of no fixed abode, launched a legal challenge against the order, but the Court of Appeal turned down his request and he was forced to pay it.
Now, it's been given to Mr Weighell, who admits he had "given up on the money", but hopes he can now use it to visit his sisters in Australia.
' TILES '... LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT ???..... BATHROOM,...View details
We have a showroom full of tiles, to suit all tastes... for the Bathroom... Kitchen... Floors... and Hearths...
Porcelain, Ceramic & Natural Stone and Beautiful Mosiacs.
Free adhesive with voucher
Terms: Minimum spend of £200.00 including VAT
Contact: 01472 802418
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
And Cleethorpes couple Nellie and Brian Williams, who were also victims of Connors have been given £1,000 of the £12,500 they lost.
The judge in the court case at the time made an order for £1,000.
Nellie said: "I believe people who do this to old people should be put up against the wall and shot.
"We are grateful to the police for getting some of the money back. It is a pity it is not all of it."
"This has nearly killed us off," said her husband.
Meanwhile, 84-year-old retired Laportes instrument mechanic Mr Weighell, of Scartho, says he was forced to pay for a new driveway and interior decoration before the job had been finished.
He said: "They made me pay the money before they had finished the job. They were very pushy and would not take no for an answer.
"But people should be firm and tell them to go away.
"I had given up on the money, so I am really pleased the police have put them in their place."
Handing over the cheques, Chief Inspector Gerry Darling urged residents to make life harder for cowboy tradesmen and bogus officials.
He urged vulnerable householders to deter cold callers and if someone does call without warning offering a service, tell them to leave.
He said greater vigilance among residents makes the task of the rogue trader harder.
Mr Darling added that organised crime gangs get away with hundreds of thousands of pounds by tricking elderly and vulnerable people.
He said: "Doorstep crime is also on the radar of Trading Standards officers and we work closely with them. If anyone has any suspicions they should ring us immediately and if we find out the caller is genuine we can reassure the residents.
"The motivation for this crime is purely money. Taking money off them is what they fear the most. In the most serious cases they can have their home, cars and their possessions taken from them, which is no more than what they deserve."
He urged residents not to answer to people they are suspicious of and send them away.
"If a resident is not happy they should ring the police or Trading Standards."
Homeowners can find good local traders in North East Lincolnshire through the Home Services Directory, a vetted trader scheme run by Trading Standards and available at www.hsd.org.uk."
The Grimsby Telegraph also runs its own Trusted Traders scheme.
If consumers are concerned about the tactics used by salespersons cold calling at their door or would like to report a rogue trader, call Consumer Direct on 0845 4040506.