As a "breathtakingly
arrogant" con artist was led to cells he waved to his victims
and said, "sorry everybody".
Guy Silcock stands in the
dock during his sentencing on fraud charges at the North
Shore District Court. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Guy Campbell Silcock's fleeting apology was met with icy
stares from the 10 "Silcock survivors" who were in the North
Shore District Court public gallery yesterday to see him
sentenced to three years' jail.
Between 2009 and 2013, using various aliases, the 40-year-old
ripped off about dozen victims he was supposed to do
landscaping work for, many of whom were elderly or
He also used worthless cheques to buy power tools, which he
would pawn for cash.
Silcock's deception was worth more than $27,000, but
yesterday he sprang a surprise when he produced cheques worth
$26,000 to repay his victims. The money was from supporters
of his, the court was told.
After an initial batch of offending, some of which he
admitted, Silcock was bailed. But he continued ripping people
Judge Roy Wade said Silcock would place ads in newspapers,
which his victims responded to.
He would tell them a big contract had just fallen through and
he had men on hand waiting to start work. He would give an
attractive quote and ask for a cash deposit.
Once that was paid, that was it - he wouldn't do any work and
the victims were left out of pocket.
"You cynically made promise after promise after promise to
attend the very next day and your excuses for failing to
attend were almost innumerable. They included illness,
vehicle breakdowns, a bad back, inclement weather and unable
to source material," the judge told Silcock.
"You have amply demonstrated that you are extremely
manipulative. You have put forward excuse after excuse to try
to delay you being held to account."
Silcock defended charges laid over his most recent offending
at a 7-day hearing where the judge said he made "absurd"
claims that victims had got together to make false
allegations and that he had completed work for the victims,
but they were not home at the time and hadn't noticed.
He also went through several lawyers, and said he pleaded
guilty to other charges only because of poor legal advice.
"He was breathtakingly arrogant throughout proceedings," the
judge said of Silcock.
Judge Wade rejected any notions of remorse, but gave Silcock
some discount in his prison term for stumping up with cash.
Defence lawyer Maria Mortimer said Silcock was suffering post
traumatic stress disorder following the death of his mother
in 2009. Since then a gambling addiction "spiralled out of
She said the two months he had spent in custody awaiting
sentence were "horrendous" and she suggested home detention
might be appropriate on the 23 charges of obtaining and
causing loss by deception.
That would allow Silcock to work and look after his ailing
father. Judge Wade disagreed.
In an unusual move at the end of the sentencing the judge
praised the work of police prosecutor Adam Pell and Constable
Don Henderson in bringing Silcock to account.
In the public gallery, the "Silcock survivors", as they
described themselves, applauded the outcome.
Silcock has a further court appearance next month on a charge
of perverting the cause of justice after allegedly showing
the court false receipts purporting to show he had bought
some material for the jobs.
Andrea Dixon: "The
reparation's good but it's disappointing it's not his money.
He's taking advantage of his father again."
Ms Dixon wasn't fussed about repayment anyway. "It's about
stopping him and letting the community know."
Gail Mazur: "I was happy
with three years. I never thought we'd get any money. It was
an added bonus."