Nottinghamshire salesman told Derbyshire woman to pay thousands or she wouldn't get her new kitchen fitted
A Derbyshire woman was left “in a state of panic” when a businessman demanded she pay £7,300 immediately or his workers would not fit the kitchen she had ordered.
Derby Crown Court heard how the van had just arrived at the woman’s address loaded with the components when Andrew Scott rang the victim.
The 50-year-old said the items would not be taken from the van unless she paid him the balance of what she owed him in full.
And the hearing was told how Scott had sold the woman the kitchen just a day after he had been sentenced in court for carrying out the exact same business practice, which is outlawed by Trading Standards.
Fining Scott, of Newstead Abbey Park, Ravenshead, Mansfield £1,000 and fining his company Premier Interiors Ltd £15,000, Judge Jonathan Bennett said: “The date of the offence is significant.
“You were there in their house on February 5, when the day before you had been in court with (his previous firm) Concept Interiors where you were sentenced for doing the identical type of work using the identical contract that you knew was not correct.
“In my view you took some advantage knowing the consequences.
“You phoned her (the victim) and told her she needed to pay the balance there and then when the van pulled up.
“She was in a vulnerable position at that point. The phone call was as the van arrived.”
Derby Crown Court heard how, after receiving the one call from Scott, the customer “was thrown into panic” and called her partner who had to leave work and arrange for the £7,300 balance to be transferred before the kitchen work was completed.
Judge Bennett said to Scott, who at this point was shaking his head in the dock: “She was anticipating getting her dream kitchen installed and was thrown into an element of panic.
“I can see you shaking your head disputing this, but I have heard the evidence.
“She was expecting to pay for the balance in completion.
Scott had been fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £1,200 costs after pleading guilty to unfair trading practices when he appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on February 4, 2016.
At the time he was the director and owner of Alfreton-based Concept Interiors Ltd which has since been dissolved.
But just the following day, he was selling a kitchen to the Derbyshire couple under his new company Premier Interiors Ltd.
They signed a contract and paid £1,000 deposit, believing the balance was due to be paid on completion of the work.
But the following month, as the van and workmen arrived to begin fitting the new kitchen, Scott telephoned the woman and demanded payment there and then saying nothing would be unloaded from the van until he had the £7,300.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in unfair trading practice.
Richard Gibbs, mitigating, said his client’s business has turned over more than £1m for each of the last two financial years and that the profits have been £74,000 and £56,000 during those periods.
He said Scott dissolved Concept Interiors following negative publicity around the previous court hearing.
Mr Gibbs said: “It is a small business, he tells me it has one full-time person and three part-time and that he generates the sales himself."