Salesmen accused of poaching custmomers deny fraud

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A sales manager and a salesman for a Colchester engineering company abused their positions by trying to poach customers for a rival business they were setting up, it has been alleged.

Ian Pratt and Gareth Pye were employed by Paragon Stainless Products which made stainless steel products including equipment for site refurbishments for McDonalds, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

They worked for Colchester based Paragon for 18 months before handing in their notice in January 2017 and were "trusted, senior members of staff" with access to confidential information, said Matthew Kirk, prosecuting.

He said the case involved the actions of the defendants in paving the way for a new business called ISG in the weeks before they left Paragon.

Pratt, 62, of Warren Lane, Martlesham Heath, and Pye, 49, of Berechurch Road, Colchester, have denied fraud.


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They are accused of creating an email address with the intention of misleading customers, obtaining technical drawings and persuading customers to give business to their new company.

Mr Kirk said that prior to the alleged fraud there had been conflict between the company's two directors and the business had been experiencing a period of uncertainty.

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The trial, which is expected to last around a week, continues.

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