Rain

Rain

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Bury St Edmunds: Charities and schools among victims of alleged financial scam

13:22 08 May 2014

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

Four salesmen have been accused of fraudulently altering contracts so that customers, including schools and charities, were misled into entering costly financial agreements against their will.

The salesmen at DWS Environmental Ltd, based in Bury St Edmunds, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, facing 26 counts of fraud by false representation between them.

Christopher Gill, 39, from The Vinefields in Bury St Edmunds, Gary Green, 53, of Peregrine Road, Ilford, Alan Wilson, 50, of Curzon Street, Burton on Trent, and David Leather, 50, of Trafalgar Road, Manchester, all deny the charges.

Christopher Kerr, prosecuting on behalf of Suffolk County Council Trading Standards, said the men “dishonestly induced” their customers into long-term water cooler leases, which cost thousands of pounds to opt out of.

“The allegation, in a nutshell, is that each of the defendants acted fraudulently,” he said.

“In particular, they deliberately misled their customers into believing they were only going to be committed for a limited period, typically six to 12 months, when in fact they were going to be entering into a much longer commitment of five, even six years.

“The reason, the prosecution alleges, that the period of commitment was so limited is they knew the customer would not be prepared to tie themselves in for such a lengthy period of time. It is also the case they would earn commission from the business they sold, which would be dependent on the length of the contract period.”

Mr Kerr told the court that handwriting evidence would prove each of the defendants had altered their customers’ order sheets to lengthen the contract.

The salesmen, he said, would take signed order sheets from their customers and then add extra digits and fill in blank boxes.

The court heard, customers would be left with no copy of the agreement, and only realised what they had been signed up to when a statement from Chivington Finance and Leasing arrived – a company said to hold “close ties” with DWS Environmental.

Mr Kerr said the defendants’ defence is that while they did change the figures, they did so consensually in the presence of the customer - claims the prosecution rejects.

Among Green’s alleged victims were two charities – Drug and Alcohol Action Programme and the Anglia Cancer Network – which Mr Kerr said had made “quite clear they could not commit for longer than six to 12 months because of budget uncertainties”.

Norwich Road Community Primary School in Thetford was another of the victims outlined in court, which Mr Kerr said had been duped into a lengthy contract by Gill.

The trial continues.

Stock image of the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

A boy has been airlifted to hospital following a collision in Witham this evening.

Mark Bee and George Nobbs at Beccles bridge in 2013 - both former leaders voted against the devolution deal.

Suffolk’s councils have done their bit on approving the government’s devolution proposals – but the decision on whether to proceed remains up in the air.

The B1035 Clacton Road in Horsley Cross is closed after a collision involving a lorry and a car.

A man has died following a crash between a lorry and a car in Horsley Cross, near Manningtree.

Tattingstone village sign.

A reward of up to £5,000 has been offered following a “horrendous crime” in a Suffolk village in which pensioner was assaulted.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Passenger satisfaction levels in the region’s rail operator have dropped in key areas including value for money and punctuality, a new poll has revealed.

David Silver has opened a new museum in Leiston housing an amazing collection of historic Honda motorcycles. James May and Freddie Spencer officially opened the museum.

Motorcycle lovers with special affection for a certain manufacturer relished the chance to explore a unique collection unveiled in Suffolk.

A man police would like to speak to following three alleged fraud incidents in Ipswich

Suffolk police officers have released an image of a man they would like to speak to following three incidents of alleged fraud in Ipswich.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24