Evicted pensioner moves into new home

OLIVIA CARVILLE
Last updated 11:36 01/02/2014
James Barber
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
FRESH START: James Barber has a new home thanks to an anonymous Christchurch businessman.

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Crossdale Courts resident James Barber moved out of his home and into a brand new retirement unit paid for by an anonymous Christchurch businessman yesterday.

Barber said the "white knight's" actions had restored his faith in humanity after Gary Campbell "left me with nothing".

The 77-year-old believes Campbell "should be locked up".

"I think he should be brought back to New Zealand and made to face the people he has destroyed. There's got to be some justice somewhere."

When asked what he would say to Campbell if he ever faced him again, Barber said: "I'm an old man, but I'd still ask for 10 minutes in an 8 by 10 room with the man."

"It was a cowardly and selfish thing to do to elderly people and I think he should be made to pay for his misdemeanour."

Barber was "absolutely horrified" when he heard Campbell had fled and said at one stage he was trying to raise funds to chase the former police officer over to Australia.

When Barber found out that his contract was worthless, he "spent two hours throwing up into the toilet."

"I was just devastated, I just couldn't believe it could have happened," he said.

"There are some people who have lost everything as far as finances are concerned. We were emotionally destroyed and I don't wish him a good life."

Barber said that a few weeks before Campbell fled, he personally told Barber his financial problems were sorted out.

"He was very, very feasible and very, very smooth. He was a very smooth character."

"Even though we were elderly, there were people talking about going at him with rolling pins and saucepans and tar and feathering. There was a discussion about what we would do, it was just the anger and the misery."

The feeling of misery and embarrassment over what happened still affects Barber today, he said.

"I was as big a fool as anybody and I am prepared to admit that. There has been a lot of tears and a lot of anger and there still is."

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