Fraudster Sam Routh spared jail over role in £42k con exposed by Rogue Traders TV show
A FORMER Tetney man who admitted his role in a £42,515 con targeting the elderly and vulnerable has avoided jail.
Former Tollbar student Sam Routh, 26, pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud, committed while working for mobility aids provider ABM Mobility, which later changed its name, first to Virgo and then to Lifestyle.
As reported, Routh's role in the con was exposed on national TV show Rogue Traders.
The firm's owners, Amarjit and Ranjit Gill, of Nottingham, pleaded guilty to 25 counts of fraud – each relating to a customer complaint the firm had either refused to honour refunds or that they had paid for products that never arrived.
Leicester Crown Court heard that fellow staff member David Messom, 27, of Nottingham, who, like Routh, was employed as a manager with the firm, had also pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud.
This week, Routh was jailed for nine months, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work; while Messom and Ranjit Gill were given 12 month jail sentences, suspended for two years and 200 hours of unpaid work.
Amarjit Gill was jailed for 18 months. Both he and Ranjit Gill were also banned from being company directors for five years.
Today, officers who led the inquiry have spoken of their satisfaction at the result.
Graham Morgan, from Derbyshire County Council's Trading Standards team, said his team first began looking at the case in 2010 following a number of complaints from the public.
But, what they originally believed to be simply a case of problem selling tactics, turned out to be far worse.
After some customers changed their minds after signing contracts to buy mobility aids, such as orthopaedic beds or stair lifts, the company never refunded them, despite being legally obliged to do so during a seven day cooling-off period.
The second type of complaint received was from customers who had bought an item which was then not delivered to them.
Councillor Kevin Parkinson, Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: "This was one of our biggest ever investigations and we're pleased justice has been done.
"These crimes targeted some of the most vulnerable members of our communities in their own homes.
"The judge in this case acknowledged Amarjit Gill's total disregard for a six month suspended prison sentence made against him in February last year after we took action against his previous company ABM Mobility under the Enterprise Act.
"Our trading standards team will always take the strongest possible action in such cases and unscrupulous traders should be aware that we will not tolerate crimes of this nature."