Jail time for mobility company boss
Thu, 17 Aug 2017
The boss of a Derbyshire mobility company Peak Healthcare Limited has been jailed for one year after pleading guilty to unfair trading which resulted in some elderly victims losing thousands of pounds.
Christopher Carrington, 42, ran the Chesterfield-based mobility company and was sentenced at Derby Crown Court on Thursday 17 August 2017 following pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to 11 offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
The company cold-called older people living in sheltered accommodation across the country, from Liverpool and Wolverhampton to Birmingham and Leicester. Peak Healthcare's staff then arranged to visit customers to run what they called 'sleep clinics', where they would demonstrate products and make sales presentations.
Elderly and vulnerable people, some in their 80s and 90s, were encouraged to buy expensive mobility-type products, including rise and recline chairs and mattresses.
Customers were then let down by the company, which legally cancelled their contract but failed to deliver ordered goods, failed to return customers' deposits and delivered inferior goods such as second-hand mattresses costing only £1000.
The case was brought following an investigation by trading standards, who had been investigating the company since 2015.
Carrington was prosecuted because of his role in setting up and running the business.
Derbyshire’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart commented: "This company targeted older and vulnerable people and failed to trade honestly and fairly, letting customers down and leaving them out of pocket, sometimes by thousands of pounds.
"Crimes like this, where vulnerable people lose significant amounts of money and are let down, can cause lasting damage, both emotionally and financially.
Carrington pleaded guilty to 11 charges − that the firm failed to return five deposits totalling £5,770 after the contracts were cancelled legally; that four people didn't get the goods they had paid for, totalling £7,804.55; and inferior goods totalling £3,309 were received by two other customers.
Carol Hart added: "We hope this outcome gives some comfort to the victims and their families and sends out a strong message to rogue traders that we will investigate and take action when companies fail to abide by the law."
A further hearing has been set for November to consider the outcome of 'proceeds of crime' enquiries.