Ag­gres­sive trader pays back £ 4,000

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Yourtelegraph - By Stephen briggs stephen.briggs@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @ PTstephenB 01733 588734

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

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