Burnley man treated cancer-striken ex-lover (80) as ‘cash machine’

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A CANCER-stricken pensioner was treated “like a cash machine” by his heroin addicted, younger ex-lover a court heard.

Mr Clifford Cormack was pestered time and again by Anthony Franklin (43) and was said to have been pressurised into handing over thousands of pounds in the last 12 months. Franklin had been warned by the police, but kept on phoning the victim and turning up at his home, Burnley magistrates were told.

The hearing was told Mr Cormack (80) had known Franklin for 14 years and had a year-long relationship with him. The victim, who had enough to cope with because of his illness, was left feeling very upset, threatened and intimidated by the defendant’s behaviour, could not take any more and wanted to be left in peace.

Franklin, of Lyndhurst Road, Burnley, admitted harassment without violence at Rossendale, on or between last November 15th and December 5th, by pressurising his victim into providing money. The defendant, who had been in custody, was said to have got off drugs. He was given a 12 month community order, with supervision and 80 hours unpaid work. Franklin also received a two year restraining order to keep him away from Mr Cormack.

Mrs Alex Mann (prosecuting) said Mr Cormack and the defendant became friends after their relationship.

Franklin would do odd jobs for him around the house for payment of £10 or £20, but over the last few years, he had started to ask for more and more money. The victim told police the defendant had never threatened him, but always managed to make him feel sorry for him, so he would hand over cash.

The court heard Mr Cormack told police he would estimate that over the last 12 months, he had been pressurised into handing over thousands of pounds to Franklin. The victim called the police because he could not cope with the cancer and being pestered as well.

Mr Cormack had said: “I should be relaxing at my time of life and enjoying what time I have left, not feeling threatened, intimidated and harassed by somebody I once called a friend. I just want him to leave me alone.”