Belfast Telegraph

Pensioner fraud charge Ward cousins given bail

By Paul Higgins

Two cousins appeared in court yesterday accused of defrauding an elderly woman.

Standing side-by-side in the dock of Newtownards Magistrates' Court, Charles Ward and Shane Ward spoke only to confirm they understood the various charges against them.

Charles Ward (23), from Gortview Park, and 22-year-old Shane Ward, from Dixon Court, both in Coalisland, are jointly charged with fraud by falsely representing to a female pensioner that they had undertaken work at her home, failing to give notice of the right to cancel a contract and possessing class B cannabis.

Charles Ward is further charged with engaging in misleading and aggressive commercial practice, in that he allegedly "demanded cash with menace so as to significantly impair... the average consumer's freedom of choice or conduct in relation to the product concerned through the use of harassment, coercion or undue influence."

All offences are alleged to have been committed on July 4.

The charges arose after a lady in her 80s allegedly paid the pair £2,000 for roof repairs that the court was told were subsequently not carried out.

A police officer said he believed he could connect the defendants to the respective charges, while a prosecuting lawyer asked for the case to be adjourned for six weeks.

The Wards were freed on bail of £300 and banned from contacting the alleged victim.

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