Cold caller guilty of assault

PUBLISHED: 07:43 25 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:27 03 July 2010

Guilty: Leo Wardrop.

Guilty: Leo Wardrop.

THIS is the door to door cold caller who assaulted a retired man and harassed an elderly woman after they rejected his offer of getting new windows and conservatories.

THIS is the door to door cold caller who assaulted a retired man and harassed an elderly woman after they rejected his offer of getting new windows and conservatories.

Leo Wardrop was said to be under so much pressure to earn £60 commission fees from trying to get residents of a Norfolk village to agree to quotes that he snapped when he was continually turned down.

Following an afternoon of rejection in Lingwood last month Wardrop pressed his face against a door, kept ringing boor bells, repeatedly closed and shut a gate and tussled with one resident.

But magistrates heard two elderly victims fought back by telling him he would get his ears clipped and taking a photograph of him harassing homeowners.

Wardrop was fined £125 and ordered to pay £65 costs yesterday after he was found guilty by Yarmouth Magistrates of assaulting Michael Dack by trying to wrestle a camera out of his hands and harassing his neighbours Robert and Hazel Wilcox on February 3.

Fergus Harold, prosecuting, said Wardrop, of Friarscroft Lane, Wymondham, was working for Anglia First Home Improvements at Lenwade in mid-Norfolk for three months when he was told to go to Lingwood to canvas for business.

Wardrop had unsuccessfully called at about 20 homes in the Broadland village before he entered his victims' road - Briar Close.

He first went to the home of Mr Dack who said he was not interested in what he was trying to offer and closed his door.

Mr Harold said: “You then pressed your face close to the front door just to make your presence known, just to make your annoyance known. It was the last straw in a frustrating afternoon I would suggest.”

After then being rejected by neighbour Mrs Wilcox, he harassed her by ringing her doorbell six or seven times and closing and shutting her gate several times in a show of annoyance. He also made an obscene gesture when she went out to confront him.

Wardrop left after Mrs Wilcox shouted “If you come by again I will clip your ear for you.”

In a final act of frustration, the court heard, Wardrop then rushed over to confront Mr Dack after he noticed that the former home watch co-ordinator had taken a photograph of him outside Mrs Wilcox's property.

Mr Dack, giving evidence, said: “I turned around and this person had presumably leapt over my hedge and was running across the lawn towards me. He shouted “You have broken the law taking my photo”.

“He grabbed hold of my left wrist and said “Give me that camera”. He put himself between me and my kitchen door.”

Wardrop repeatedly denied that the offences ever took place and he told the court that the Briar Close residents had made up the incidents to put off other cold callers visiting them.

In cross examination Wardrop said: “There was pressure on me to get quotations. You get rejected a lot.”

Wardrop, who had no previous convictions and is seeking warehouse work, has been sacked by Anglia First Home Improvements.

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