A HUDDERSFIELD landlord has been forced to pay £8,000 after he was convicted of harassing a tenant.
Former professional rugby league player Thomas Nelmes - who played for Huddersfield before they were named the Giants - was fined £600 for the offence.
But in addition to paying £210 compensation to his former tenant he will also have to pay prosecution and defence costs of just over £7,300.
Nelmes, 48, of Willowbank Road, Kirkheaton, had denied the harassment charge during a three-day trial at Bradford Crown Court in June.
But the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.
Nelmes, who is said to own more than 20 properties, was charged under the Protection from Eviction Act after teenager Jenna Richardson and her boyfriend left their one-bedroom flat in Penistone Road, Kirkburton, less than a fortnight after moving in.
The jury heard that Nelmes had subjected Miss Richardson, then 17, to foul- mouthed abuse during a phone call two days before the couple moved out.
During the trial, Nelmes's barrister, Jonathon Duffy, said the phrase `rogue landlords' had been used in Press coverage of the case.
But he said Nelmes had had an unblemished record as a landlord for 22 years.
Mr Duffy said the legislation was aimed at unscrupulous landlords.
He added: "The conduct of Thomas Nelmes, as wrong as it clearly was, is a very far way indeed away from that kind of conduct."
Mr Duffy added: "Since publication of that article several of his tenants have left properties and several prospective tenants have not taken up tenancies."
The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Stephen Gullick, told Nelmes that the offence had been the result of him seeking to make his point in a fairly unpleasant way.
The judge added: "This is the first time you have been before the court for an offence of this type.
"You have a considerable number of properties and, no doubt in your time, a considerable number of tenants.
"No doubt this experience has taught you that you must behave yourself at all times and not seek to throw your weight about." the judge said.