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Wigan conman back in court

Rogue trader Paul Anderton, who was given a suspended prison sentence for conning two vulnerable women out of thousands of pounds for shoddy or incomplete work
Rogue trader Paul Anderton, who was given a suspended prison sentence for conning two vulnerable women out of thousands of pounds for shoddy or incomplete work

A rogue Wigan trader who professed his Christian faith - while conning two “vulnerable” pensioners out of thousands of pounds for shoddy work - has been rapped again by a judge.

Paul Anderton, 51, even ferried 89-year-old Lillian Harrison to the bank so she could withdraw £500 for extra work on her home, Bolton Crown Court was told.

The painter and decorator also duped a second woman, Christine Harrison, out of £2,700 for bogus household repairs, according to prosecutors.

Judge Graeme Smith dished out a 10-month suspended prison sentence to Anderton, in August 2017, after ruling that the women would have expected certain standards of him, after he discussed his church attendance with them.

Anderton, of Violet Street, Ashton, was also ordered to pay £2,370 in compensation and carry out 100 hours community service.

But he has now been hauled back to court, after failing to complete the community service element of his punishment successfully.

Judge Smith ordered him to observe a one-month curfew, between 7pm and 7am, after he admitted to breach of a suspended sentence.

Anderton has always maintained that he never used his faith to deceive the women.

One of his further victims, who claimed she had handed over £3,000 for work which was either poorly done or not even attempted, later contacted the Observer to complain about the conman’s “lenient sentence”.

David Birrell, prosecuting on behalf of Wigan Council, told a previous hearing that when Mrs Harrison needed a leaking bay window fixing and chimney repointing work completed, in

August 2016, she called in Anderton, after a neighbour recommended him.

His initial quote was for £600 but he later turned up at her front door asking for another £500 for scaffolding, the court heard.

She withdrew money, after he drove her to the bank, but the work remained incomplete for months, said Mr Birrell.

His second victim, Mrs Barker, had already been conned previously by another rogue trader, the court was told.

Anderton took £1,050 from her before requesting £700 for “marine plywood”. When the work remained undone, he produced fake timber merchant receipts.

An investigation was later launched by Wigan’s trading standards department.

Speaking after the case, Mrs Barker said: “I felt I could trust him to put it right after he told me he was a Christian, that he attended church and was involved in the clergy in Wigan. I feel very angry at the way I have been treated.”