Mobility aid conmen sentenced in Nottingham
Two Nottinghamshire businessmen who took £1000s from the elderly for mobility aids that they never delivered have been warned that they will be jailed if they rip off any more customers.
John Cooney (37) of Water Lane, Radcliffe-on-Trent and Carl Nicholas Mould (46) of River Crescent, Waterside Way, Trent Park, Nottingham admitted Contempt of Court for defying an earlier order under the Enterprise Act at Nottingham Magistrates Court today.
Judge Ingles adjourned sentencing in the case until December 2014, sparing the duo any immediate punishment but warning that they would be jailed immediately if they breached the Court Order between now and the date of sentencing.
Cooney and Mould ran UK Mobilty Plus from a premises in Epperstone, Nottinghamshire.
All their victims were aged over 65 and handed over deposits ranging from £170 to £2,100.
In the space of just 12 months the company generated 120 complaints to Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards. The complaints came from people across the country.
Trading Standards Officers were first alerted to UK Mobility Plus in January 2010 when complaints from older and disabled people first started to come in from customers. Many said they had paid deposits for products such as rise and recline chairs, beds and mattresses that had not been delivered.
Following an investigation, Mould and Cooney signed an undertaking under the Enterprise Act 2002 to operate their business lawfully, use due dilligence when dealing with vulnerable people and refund customers who had not received their goods.
After a short period, Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards began to receive more complaints about the company. Mould and Cooney were forced to sign a further undertaking, commiting them to operate within the law and refund victims by Nottingham County Court on 20 September 2010.
Complaints started to come in once again in December 2010.
The business suddenly closed on 6 January 2011 without notifying existing customers or the owners of the premises they rented at Crifton Enterprise Centre in Epperstone.
Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards Officers traced Cooney and Mould to separate new businesses they had started elsewhere.
Cooney has admitted 36 breaches of the court order, relating to five UK Mobility Plus customers. Mould pleaded guilty to 12 breaches of the order, relating to four customers.
Nicola Schofield, Trading Standards Manager at Nottinghamshire County Council said, "This is a final and stark warning to both John Cooney and Carl Mould - one more false move and they will be going to prison.
"Trading Standards will continue to monitor them very closely and will have no hesitation in getting them back before the courts if they slip back into old habbits.
"This case should serve as a warning that Trading Standards will relentlessly pursue anyone who is prepared to target the elderly and vulnerable. We will catch you and we will put you before the Courts."
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Notes to Editor
Interviews with several victims of UK Mobility Plus are available upon request.
For further information on this press release contact Rob Shirley, Senior Media Officer on 0115 977 2802 or email email@example.com