Rain

Rain

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Four rogue salesmen sentenced for defrauding customers through water cooler scam

PUBLISHED: 18:40 01 August 2014 | UPDATED: 18:40 01 August 2014

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

Four rogue salesmen have been sentenced to a combined total of 38 months after fraudulently misleading customers into entering costly financially agreements against their will.

The salesmen, who had been employed at DWS Environmental Ltd based in Bury St Edmunds, were also ordered to carry out 490 hours of unpaid work and pay £14,400 in costs, following yesterday’s hearing at Ipswich Crown Court.

They had pleaded or been found guilty of 19 offences between them, relating to charges of fraud by false representation.

Numerous businesses had complained about the salesmen, after rental agreements for water coolers were altered without their knowledge, tying them to costly long-term contracts.

Trading Standards initiated an investigation in 2011 and found evidence that lease agreements had been increased from periods of three, six or 12 months to as many as 75. The total value of contracts relating to the charges is about £80,000.

Councillor Colin Spence, cabinet member for public protection said: “This case is a continual reminder that scammers don’t just target consumers, they also con businesses.

“It is very easy to think that you won’t be fooled but scammers are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to take your money.”

Peter Oakes, 58, of Devon was sentenced to 17 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, 200 hours unpaid work and £6,000 costs. Gavin Heyhoe, 45, of Nottingham, was sentenced 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, 140 hours unpaid work and £1,200 costs. Alan Wilson, 50, of Curzon Street, Burton on Trent, received a six month sentence, suspended for 15 months, 90 hours unpaid work and £1, 200 costs. David Leather, 50, of Trafalgar Road, Manchester was handed a three month sentence, suspended for 12 months, 60 hours unpaid work and £6,000 costs.

Striking new images are being unveiled of a major development proposed for the heart of Ipswich which could see restaurants, a hotel and a tower block built opposite Cardinal Park.

Firefighters have attended a “rescue” in Ipswich.

Firefighters have been called to a blaze in a residential street in Ipswich.

The University of Essex is among more than 60 institutions set for strike action next month over pensions – however staff at the University of Suffolk are not expected to take part.

The care received by patients was assessed by an independent panel

A reality TV star was caught reading about horses while driving along a Suffolk road.

A Suffolk war hero who survived eight bomb blasts has told this newspaper a new political party launching nationwide next month aims repair the country’s public services – and give disillusioned voters a voice.

A former Ipswich man who raped and sexually assaulted a schoolgirl has been jailed for 12 years.

Temperatures in Suffolk and Essex are forecast to rival Athens in Greece tomorrow as a spell of mild weather is set to continue.

A world-renowned female harpist has denied sexually abusing a schoolboy and told a trial that he sexually assaulted her while she was in the shower.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24