Wigan gym boss damaged house in cash feud
A Wigan gym owner smashed a woman’s front windows over unmet demands to repay thousands of pounds that was stolen from his business, a court heard.
Graham Hodgson, owner of Apex Gym in Hindley, had been left out of pocket to the tune of £15,000, which had been stolen by his daughter and her friend who used the cash to buy drugs.
The pair had been repaying 42-year-old after he discovered their theft, but he saw red when he was told he would not be receiving a penny more.
He caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to a house in retaliation for a similar attack on his own home, which had seemingly been intended to stop him making any more demands for the money he was owed.
In a hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, Hodgson, of Fairman Drive in Hindley, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage.
The court heard the rift had begun when Hodgson noticed money had been going missing from his gym in Lowe Mill Lane, Hindley.
He was shocked to discover that one of his daughters and her friend were responsible, and had stolen around £15,000 to fund a drug habit.
Hodgson offered the pair a chance to repay the cash, which they both accepted.
They agreed that his daughter would repay £10,000 and that her friend would pay back the remaining £5,000.
His daughter repaid the money in full, and payments were also being made by the other female until she asked for a short break over Christmas, which Hodgson agreed to.
But soon after, he was confronted by a drug dealer who entered his gym and told him that the woman would not be making anymore repayments on the money she owed.
The incident escalated when Hodgson returned home from a holiday to discover his own windows had been smashed, prompting him to carry out the same offence in retaliation.
On the afternoon of February 18, the woman was sat in her home in Kendal Road when she heard a loud smashing noise come from the living room.
Going to inspect the cause, she saw a man stood outside her front window. Frightened, she ran upstairs, but managed to take a picture of the culprit as he got back into his car and drove away.
She sent the image to her mother - who recognised him as Hodgson - explaining what had happened and asking her to call the police.
Hodgson was described as “ordinarily an upstanding member of the community”, and it was revealed that a petrol bomb and a paint bomb had been thrown at his property.
The stress of the matter had even resulted in a heart attack, it was also said.
Hodgson was given a 12-month conditional discharge, and must pay £300 compensation for the damaged windows. He must also pay £350 in court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
A restraining order was also made, preventing him from contacting the woman or entering Kendal Road for 24 months.