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Plumber escapes jail for overcharging pensioner
Published:  23 April, 2012

A plumber in Kidderminster has been given a supervision order after being found guilty of overcharging a pensioner for work in his bathroom.

Steven Greenaway, from Kidderminster, who was found guilty of two charges of fraud, was instead given a 12-month supervision order, made to pay £500 compensation to the pensioner, and must now carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work.

Greenaway was working as a subcontractor when he was called to the home of the 76-year-old pensioner, who had Huntington's disease.

The court was told the plumber had charged the pensioner the fee for repairing a leaking tap, and also for removing the bath and replacing it with a newer model, which the prosecution said Greenaway had not been asked to do.

In his defence, Greenaway said he had given the pensioner a fixed price for the work that needed to be done.

In sentencing, Judge Michael Dudley told Greenaway: “He was patently an extremely vulnerable gentleman. He was reliant on a tradesman doing an honest job for honest pay and the jury found you effectively robbed him of a considerable sum of money. He was not expecting to pay for a new bath and, if he was, not for the sum of money you took from him. It is a despicable offence.”

Greenaway's defence team said Greenaway might now need to find alternative employment, as the conviction would badly affect his ability to work as a plumber.