WIGAN EVENING POST www.wigantoday.net Saturday, January 16, 2010 PAGE 7 Theft girl gets a let-off By Bethany Taylor A TEENAGER who stole hun- dreds of pounds from her mum to give to her drug ad- dict boyfriend has turned her life around thanks to a previ- ous supervison order. The court heard how the re- morseful 17-year-old girl had taken nearly £700 over two months in giro cheques made out to her mum, who phoned the police to teach her daugh- ter a lesson. After stealing the cheques the girl then cashed them while posing as her mum, which she was able to do after previously setting up a HIGH TECH: Mike Hughes Jnr in the bank account in her mum's name using a credit card. service cupboard NEW VIEW: John Hughes opens one of the new windows at the eco-friendly property in Turton Street, Golborne Prosecutor Jennifer Mansell IT’S A NEW TYPE told the court how the teen and her mum had become es- tranged for various reasons, including the mum’s disap- proval of her daughter’s boyfriend, who took drugs. The pair’s relationship had become strained and the de- fendant was no longer living OF GREEN HOUSE with her mum at the time of the crimes, although she had access to the house. She told the court that she’d taken the first cheque in May because she needed to buy food but admitted that the second amount, stolen in June, was taken at the re- quest of her boyfriend. Cash Eco win The money, which was in- tended to pay rent, had been posted to the Leigh home and as a result of the thefts to boost Wigan Council is claiming compensation of nearly £790 from the defendant’s mum. After each theft the teen went to Cash Generator business shops masquerading as her WATER POWER: The solar thermal mum and was successful in evacuated tubes panels on the roof getting the cash. When the girl’s mum did not receive the first housing benefit cheque on the day she BY NATALIE GERAGHTY was expecting it she got in touch with Wigan Council, but was told her that it had al- A LONG-ESTABLISHED family build- ready been sent out. ing firm has gone green and turned There were then further in- an ordinary house into two award- vestigations which showed winning eco-apartments. GREEN TEAM: Some of the team who worked on the house in Turton Street, that the money had been Hughes Brothers, based in Leigh, em- cashed at the pawnbrokers, ploy ex-offenders, providing them with Golborne: Mike Hughes Jnr, left, brother John and their father Mike Snr with but when the teen’s mum skills to work in the building industry. workmen Jamie Foster, Ross Lloyd, Scott Marsden and John’s son, Paul KEEP COOL: The temperature in the confronted her she denied it. As an experiment, employees have eco-home is carefully controlled The court heard that the been able to develop their skills further “It had huge sash windows, just 75mm ings were lowered to allow 2ft of new in- girl finally admitted the theft and work with renewable sources to build of insulation and we used to sit there with sulation and there is now under-floor in the future, then we need people with after her mum visited the the ultimate environmentally friendly blankets around us. heating and not a single radiator in sight. the skills. store and was shown a pic- home. “I started researching renewable en- The one-bedroomed apartments are “How important is their background ture of her daughter cashing The company has just received a Build- ergy about four years ago after I went to decorated throughout with eco-friendly then, if they have a skill?” the cheque. ing Excellence award for the best sus- Scandinavia and had a look at projects paint and there are no carpets that could Mike added: “The whole thing was The 17-year-old is six tainable project awarded by Wigan over there. They have been eco-friendly potentially harbour lice, just laminate about working together as a team and months into a 12-month su- Council. for around 30 years. flooring. getting the project delivered. pervision order for previous of- A team of tradesmen and apprentices “I wanted to bring their projects here John said: “The house also uses heat “We have been described as the ‘car- fences of assault, robbery, worked on a 130-year-old semi-detached and it has taken us about seven months to recovery, it extracts hot air from the bon pioneers’ which made the hairs stand theft and false imprisonment. Victorian house in Turton Street, Gol- finish the house.” kitchen and the bathroom and sends it up on the back of my neck. Melissa Fagan, defending, borne, which was once home to broth- The house used to use six tons of car- to the other rooms to warm up the house. “We’re trying to do our bit.” told how the court order has ers Mike and John Hughes, who run the bon a year and cost £2,000 in energy bills. “When we had finished the house, we The Hughes Brothers are now prepar- helped the girl to change her firm with their father Mike Snr. Now both apartments use just 0.9 tons wanted it to lie dormant for a while with- ing to build two new code six homes in life around and she has now The house has been split into two, one- a year each and cost £275 in combined out anybody in it, to see how warm it gets. Platt Bridge. reconciled with her mum, who bedroomed apartments. They are the energy bills. “Without any heating on, it was al- John said: “We’re quite confident with was with her in court, and is equivalent to code four for sustainable John, managing director, said: “As a ready 18 degrees. this new build, we know what renewables living back at home. homes on the government’s new stan- firm, we wanted to tackle social and cli- “We had a team of ex-offenders work- to put in now, we just need to build it. The teen was ordered to dards, where code six is the most envi- mate issues so we spent £80,000 making ing on the house. People from disadvan- “It’s just two houses to begin with, so if pay £400 in compensation ronmentally friendly possible. the house eco-friendly. We planned for taged backgrounds carry a stigma and we it goes well, great, if not then at least it and was given an absolute Operations director Mike Jnr said: our experiment to succeed.” wanted to remove that stigma and give was only two.” discharge for the crimes so “John and I used to live in the house to- Evacuated solar tubes were placed in them a skill they could use. The new homes should be ready by as not to interrupt the super- gether and it was so drafty. the roof to help heat up water, the ceil- “If there is a need for renewable items Easter. vision order.
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