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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 June, 2004, 15:48 GMT 16:48 UK
Father guilty of 'stupid' DIY job
Pendery's botched DIY
Pendery's loft conversion failed miserably
A man has been sentenced to 160 hours of community service after a botched attempt at DIY.

Christopher Pendery, 27, from Loughborough caused nearly 15,000 worth of damage to his rented house.

He admitted causing criminal damage as he converted a loft into a bedroom.

Leicester Crown Court heard on Wednesday that one surveyor described it as "the most dangerous inhabited property" he had seen in 11 years.

Prosecutor James Varley said Pendery sawed through timbers holding up the roof of the house, owned by Derwent Housing Association, when they got in the way of his conversion.

Christopher Pendery
It does not make him a bad man, just a stupid one
Lawyer describing Christopher Pendery

He also installed a small bed and lined the floor with chipboard, which was so fragile it would have caved in when any weight was placed on it.

The damage was first noticed by police on a visit to the house on an unrelated matter.

William Redgrave, defending, said: "From the start, he has expressed his absolute remorse for this stupid offence.

"He did not appreciate he was committing a criminal offence at the time.

"There's no excuse put forward. The explanation was that he was seeking to create a space for his children to have more room to play in but failed to give any thought to the consequences."

"It does not make him a bad man, just a stupid one."

Judge Peter Morrell, sentencing, said: "I can see you are sorry for yourself and there's a degree of remorse at the consequences of your stupidity.

"I do not regard that the cost of the damage caused was the most serious aspect of what you did... the most serious aspect is the risk you placed innocent people in by your thoughtless actions."

The BBC's Mike O'Sullivan
"One neighbour has some sympathy for the DIY effort"

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