Trader guilty of nine charges relating to false promises
A trader has been ordered to pay compensation of more than £1,600 after pleading guilty to nine charges relating to false promises made to customers.
Simon James Haile, 52, from Monmouth, director of Autospares (UK) Ltd, attended Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on 23rd January following investigations from a number of complaints.
The county council first received complaints in 2005 relating to the quality of description of car parts being supplied and delays in processing refunds by Autospares (UK) Ltd, based in Lydbrook, in the Forest of Dean.
Mr Haile agreed to improve the way he conducted his business.
Despite an initial reduction, the number of complaints against the company gradually began to creep up again and a second investigation was started in 2015.
The investigation revealed that the company was taking orders for parts on the basis they were held in stock when that was not the case. In some cases the company would send an incorrect part in order to delay any claim for a refund, and eventually evidence emerged that orders were taken but no parts were ever despatched.
In sentencing, the magistrate concluded that these were serious matters because of the large number of complaints and the amount of money lost. This was balanced against Haile’s early guilty plea, the fact the company had ceased trading and that Haile had limited means.
Haile was ordered to pay compensation to nine victims proportionate to the amounts they had lost, a total of more than £1,600.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “It is sad to see that despite the initial cooperation; ultimately we have had to prosecute in this instance.
“Our trading standards team work hard to protect the interests of the public and businesses across the county and we take instances like this very seriously. I would urge anyone running a business to make sure they are operating legally and providing customers with what they promise.”