Eco win to boost business by sdfsb346f


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									WIGAN EVENING POST                                                                                                                                       Saturday, January 16, 2010         PAGE 7

                                                                                                                                                                                         Theft girl
                                                                                                                                                                                         gets a
                                                                                                                                                                                               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

                                                                                                                                                                                         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

                                                                                                                                                                                         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.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                         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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