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A Successful Prosecution For Fraud

A Bournemouth man has been successfully prosecuted for fraud by Borough of Poole Trading Standards.

40 year old Derek Montague, of 38 Bascott Road, Bournemouth was found guilty of five counts of fraud at Bournemouth Crown Court on 9 May 2013.

The offences related to an incident involving work undertaken by Mr Montague on a private home. The customer, a local woman, was overcharged approximately £250 for substandard work carried out by Oakdale Home Improvements. In addition the victim was not provided with a cancellation notice giving her a 'seven-day' cooling off period.

In court Mr Montague claimed he had not carried out the work and that it was a casual labourer who had masterminded the offences. Prosecuting Barrister, Michael Tomlinson, explained to the jury that the victim had known Mr Montague from a previous occasion and was very clear about the identity of the man who had contracted with her to carry out the work. During the course of the trial the victim identified the man in the dock as Mr Montague.

The jury took just one hour and 37 minutes to reach their unanimous verdicts.

In summing up the Judge stated that Mr Montague was a domineering and cunning man who had deliberately involved the casual labourer to try and circumvent the offence. He said that this was a cynical attempt to defraud the victim. He knew what he was doing and had tried to brazen it out in front of the jury. His defence was found wanting and the case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

James Norman, Regulatory Team Manager, Borough of Poole, said: “I hope this verdict sends a clear message to those people who seek to defraud members of our community that Trading Standards will use all means at their disposal to bring these traders to justice.

“We would recommend that anyone wishing to find a trader they can trust, to visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk.”

The case has been adjourned for sentencing to 3 June 2013 at 10am at Bournemouth Crown Court.