A so called businessman who preyed on the elderly and rarely delivered the mobility scooters they had ordered and paid for has been jailed. John Read, 53, from Prescot, Merseyside was found guilty of 27 separate charges of fraud and breach of the Consumer protection Act. The judge, upon hearing the verdict, had to postpone the sentencing until he had calmed down, so incensed was he at Read’s actions.
Read was jailed for 18 months and ordered to repay £7825 to his 14 victims. Read took over the Mobility and Reupholstery Centre, the family business, when his father fell ill. He then started to cold disabled and elderly people in the area claiming he was working for social services. When his victims agreed to him calling around, he offered to sell them mobility equipment which was second hand. He often left with hundreds of pounds for deposits, but when the equipment wasn’t delivered he would avoid contact with them, and was abusive when they asked for refunds.
He also undertook upholstery work he wasn’t able to do and the resulting work was substandard and slipshod. Upon jailing him the judge, Norman Wright QC, said to Read that the offences were carried out by him through the business he was then in charge of. He added that he had carried out these offences against vulnerable members of society who, in their twilight years, could not be considered to be well off money wise and trusted him to improve their quality of life.
As well as the refunds he has been ordered to pay his victims, Read has also been ordered to pay costs totalling £10,550 to Liverpool and Knowsley councils. This is due to the fact that is was their Trading Standards departments who brought about the prosecution in the first place.