A fish seller from County Durham was sentenced yesterday after pleading guilty to aggressive trading.
Paul Dawson, 54 of Pelton Fell, Chester Le Street, County Durham was sentenced to 150 hours unpaid work and a three month curfew for aggressive practice offences at Preston Crown Court.
Cumbria Trading Standards brought the case after an 88-year-old lady with mobility problems and who lives alone was pressurised into buying fish.
Dawson entered the victim’s kitchen without permission, and placed a large quantity of fish into her freezer and charged the victim £200 – she was given no choice. The victim was so upset she even gave Dawson an extra £20 cash so that he would leave her home quickly.
Dawson admitted cold-calling and deliberately targeting elderly people.
Cllr Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “Our front doors are supposed to provide security and protection but for some criminals they are the perfect entrance through which to take advantage of those most at risk in our society. Rogue traders such as Mr Dawson charging exorbitant rates for unwanted goods are not just cowardly criminals; they are also damaging the security and confidence of the elderly and vulnerable. This is why we have made doorstep crime a priority for Cumbria Trading Standards.
“This case should act as a warning to others. I am delighted to see that justice has been served for the aggressive and deceitful practices that this criminal pursued.”
If someone suspects doorstep crime in their area, they can contact Cumbria Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.