Aggressive trader pays back £ 4,000
Businessman Darren Sweary ( 45) of King Henry Chase, Bretton, intimidated housebound and vulnerable pensioners into paying hundreds of pounds for carpet cleaning they did not need, a court has heard.
A businessman intimidated housebound and vulnerable pensioners into paying hundreds of pounds for carpet cleaning they did not need, a court has heard. Darren Sweary ( 45) of King Henry Chase, Bretton, tricked nine elderly residents, one of whom relied on a wheelchair and were as old as 86 into paying hundreds of pounds for cleaning services.
Sweary, a father of one, gained £ 4,000 from his victims, who lived across the east of England but was given a suspended jail term and ordered to pay £1,500 court costs after pleading guilty to using aggressive trading practices at Huntingdon Crown Court.
Cameron Crowe, prosecuting, said: “Sweary would use a similar style each time.
“He would cold call his customers, telling them they had won a competition for free carpet cleaning.
“He would then arrange an appointment with them, and give them a voucher with the National Carpet Cleaners Association logo on it – even though he was no longer a member.
“He would then explain the service would cost more than the voucher would cover, and demand payment.
“If the clients realised they were being overcharged, or did not want the service, they would be entitled to a refund.
“On nine occassions he did not provide that refund.
“His demean our was de-
Cameron Crowe “His demeanour was described as agitated, difficult and intimidating”
scribed as agitated, difficult and intimidating.
“On one occasion he also threatened legal action when a woman, aged 86, refused to have her carpets cleaned.”
Mr Crowe said Sweary was arrested in May last year - but only started to repay the money in November, with the last cheque being paid on Monday.
Sweary, who represented himself in court, said: “I am very sorry for the harm I have caused.”
Sweary pleaded guilty to three counts of breaching trading regulations, and was given a two month jail term, suspended for a year for each count.
Judge Peter Murphy said: “This was a way of doing business that went beyond enthusiasm or drive to do as much work as you could, but it was not fraudulent or dishonest.
“You have repaid the money, which is in your favour.”
Victim 84- year- old Lyn Stratton
Darren Sweary tricked elderly