A Bromsgrove-based company and its director have had their appeals against conviction dismissed.
Richard Anthony Cooper aged 48, of 14 The Badgers, Barnt Green, Birmingham and Alpine Motorhome Ltd of 1 Fivewood Barn Money Lane Chadwich, Bromgsrove, had their appeals against conviction dismissed following a two day hearing at Hereford Crown Court which ended on 18 May 2016.
Mr Cooper and Alpine Motorhome Ltd had previously been found guilty of offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, the Fraud Act 2006 and the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 at an earlier hearing at Redditch Magistrates Court. However Mr Cooper and his company elected to appeal against the verdict.
The original prosecution brought by Worcestershire County Council followed an investigation by the Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) Trading Standards team into the sale of a motorhome by the company that had previously been subject to a category C insurance write-off. The investigation revealed that not only had the company failed to declare that the motorhome had previously been a category C insurance write-off, but that Mr Cooper had subsequently supplied a forged document to cover up the initial offence.
In dismissing the appeal against conviction the Judge commented that the witnesses for the prosecution had been both impressive and clear and concluded that Mr Cooper had known the vehicle had previously been a Category C write-off.
Mr Cooper was ordered to pay further costs of £4,142 in addition to the fines, costs and compensation previously imposed by the lower Court, bringing his total financial penalty to £20,798.87. The Crown Court also concluded that the suspended sentence imposed by the Magistrates Court was correct but considered that the 52 weeks to be suspended should be reduced to 26 weeks. The Director’s Disqualification Order was also removed.
Head of WRS Simon Wilkes said: “This case highlights the high quality work done by our Trading Standards Officers. The work of our Trading Standards team is vital in ensuring that consumers are protected from unscrupulous and rogue businesses.
“Our officers regularly investigate allegations of fraudulent activity that go well beyond regulatory breaches and, as this case shows, work tirelessly to ensure justice for the innocent victims of crime.
“The action of the judge in dismissing this appeal shows how seriously such matters are viewed.”