Court to decide how much swindler should repay customers
- Credit: Archant
A confiscation hearing which will determine how much the director of a Suffolk mobility furniture company who swindled elderly and disabled customers out of thousands of pounds will have to repay to his victims has been adjourned until March.
David Waters, 71, of Manwick Road, Felixstowe, was jailed for 32 months in December 2019 after he and his company Anchor Mobility Limited were convicted of a string of unfair trading offences.
The charges were brought following an investigation by Suffolk Trading Standards officers who spoke to the company’s customers across the country.
More than 20 customers paid Waters, who was sole director of Anchor Mobility Ltd, for furniture including reclining chairs, sofas and beds they never received.
During a three-week trial in 2019 Waters denied fraudulent trading by taking payment without delivering goods, pressurising customers to make purchases, and failing to issue refunds between October 2016 and August 2017.
Waters and Anchor Mobility also denied engaging in an unfair commercial practice which contravened requirements of professional diligence between October 2016 and August 2017.
The company and Waters also denied 13 offences of being engaged in misleading commercial practices by failing to fulfil representations that furniture would be delivered to customers within an agreed time period.
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In addition to being jailed, Waters, who was convicted of all the offences, was made the subject of a criminal behaviour order and banned from being a company director for 10 years.
Anchor Mobility was fined £1,000 for each charge of unfair commercial practice.
On Monday (December 5) Waters returned to court for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act which will decide how much he has to repay to his victims.
Barristers in the case asked for the case to be adjourned until next year to allow further discussions to take place.
Judge Emma Peters directed that if the order was agreed the matter would be dealt with on March 18 but if it’s not, a two-week contested hearing will take place in October next year.
An earlier hearing was told that Waters’ £400,000 home would have to be sold to meet a confiscation order and this was being organised.