An agent has escaped jail after pleading guilty with two other defendants to conspiracy to commit criminal damage. But he has been placed under curfew.
Jake Ankers, 26, a lettings manager at Beech Properties, Manchester, was said to have orchestrated two incidents whereby the family had bricks thrown at their CCTV. In a second incident, the three men were seen using a pole to try to damage the camera.
Ankers believed that the security camera, trained on a spot outside Beech Properties’ office in Moss Side, had led to him being given parking tickets.
But unknown to him, the family whose property he and the other two targeted by trying to damage the surveillance camera, had already been subjected to a campaign of fear and intimidation.
Ankers, Paul Marshall and Steven King accepted their role in the two events in March and April 2015.
They were said to be unaware that the Wilding family, including three young children and where the mother is a local campaigner, had already been the subject of other attacks which left them so traumatised that they had moved out of their home for two months.
A number of earlier incidents in 2014 included a threatening phone call, their car tyres being slashed, and a concrete slab and brick being thrown through the windows of their home. A fire was also started at their back door although it was quickly put out after petrol was smelled.
In mitigation, barristers for the three defendants said they were unaware of these earlier incidents.
For Ankers, Richard Dawson said his client had committed the damage because the CCTV cameras had led to him receiving parking tickets.
Mr Dawson said: “It’s an unfortunate coincidence of this case that these victims had such vulnerability.”
He described Ankers, who has no previous convictions, as a hard-working young man who is otherwise constructive and productive.
Ankers was given a 16-week prison sentence suspended for two years. He must complete 100 hours’ unpaid work and adhere to a curfew from 7pm to 7am.
One of the other men, King, was sentenced to three months in prison, concurrent to a 51-month sentence he is already serving.
Sentencing on Marshall, a semi-professional footballer with Curzon Ashton, was postponed for his legal team to prove how a curfew might affect him.
Beech Properties declined to comment when approached by the Manchester News.