Rogue trader escapes jail because of OCD
A rogue trader who tried to con a pensioner out of £3,000 escaped jail because of his obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Patrick Delaney of Bishopsford Road, Morden, received a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service after admitting fraud.
Croydon Crown Court heard the 28-year-old had called at the home of an elderly woman in Croydon on June 2010, and told her paving and a wall outside her property needed to be replaced, quoting £1,350 for the work.
Four days later she paid for the work and was then quoted £3,000 for decorating work inside the house.
The work was not completed satisfactorily, but Delaney harassed her for payment.
The court heard Delaney was involved in another case in which he approached a Beddington woman and said her garden wall was in dangerous condition.
She agreed to pay £230 for part of it to be repaired, but later the same day agreed to have the whole wall fixed for a total of £480.
She was not given a written quote.
Delaney returned to carry out the work on two occasions, after which he demanded payment of £1,600.
She gave him £500 and told him to return on June 30, which is when police and trading standards officers were waiting, having been alerted by the woman's daughter.
The court heard Delaney was known to Merton Council and had signed a document stating he was aware of the law in regards to providing cancellation rights to customers.
In May 2010, Delaney pleaded guilty to similar charges at Kingston Crown Court and was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and to community work.
He was also ordered to submit an in-depth explanation of the trading standards legislation.
Sentencing Delaney, Judge Daniel Flahive said: "These are serious offences, particularly so as just before these events you had appeared at Kingston Crown Court re a similar issue.
"I do not accept the pre-sentence report explanation you were generally poor at paperwork and didn't understand it. You were advised and blindly ignored this.
"What saves you from prison by the skin of your teeth is the psychiatric report that says you are suffering from severe obsessive compulsive disorder, that I must have regard to.
"You could not receive appropriate treatment in prison."
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