Search

Hornchurch company fined after targeting schools and charities with paper scam

11:21 04 August 2014

Romford Magistrates' Court

Romford Magistrates' Court

Archant

A company and its director have been fined thousands of pounds after scamming schools and charities into buying paper at an inflated price.

Paul Siddle of Green Glades, Emerson Park, director of Express Business Products Ltd in Station Lane, Hornchurch, pleaded guilty to five offences when he appeared at Romford Magistrates’ Court on Monday last week.

His company, which was found guilty of the same counts under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations, cold called the schools and charities, offering printing paper at a cheaper price than other suppliers.

Upon receiving the goods, the buyers discovered the reams only contained 250 sheets, not the traditional 500, and as a result, they were charged double the price.

A nationwide investigation followed and unearthed complaints from Cornwall, east Yorkshire, Coventry, Kent and Brighton.

The company, which states on its website “we guarantee to beat the price you pay for office stationery!” was charged a total of £3,980 - a fine of £500 per offence, £1,360 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £120.

Mr Siddle, 40, received a 10 per cent reduction in fines for his guilty pleas and was handed a £4,400 bill - £450 per offence, £2,000 costs, a £120 victim surcharge and £30 compensation to one of the schools.

Cllr Osman Dervish, Havering’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “While these scammers may think they’re clever in the way they mislead innocent people, they will be caught out and brought to justice.

“This company deceived these schools and charities out of money and we will not tolerate that.”

Anyone who needs advice on related matters can contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506.

The council has urged businesses to take precautions against scammers, including requesting offers in writing and restricting the number of employees who can approve purchases.

Read more:

‘I didn’t even know where Guinea Bissau was’ - Hornchurch ‘fraud’ victim charged hundreds for calls to west Africa

Hornchurch residents latest victims of Guinea-Bissau phone fraud

Phone scam widens as mystery calls to Bosnia-Herzegovina appear on Rise Park man’s bill

Latest Romford News Stories

A member of the emergency services at the scene of an explosion at a building in Hornchurch. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

The two men who were arrested in connection with the explosion at a Hornchurch block of flats have been bailed.

07:00
Doctors are urging the government to scrap diesel cars, especially in London boroughs like Havering. Picture: PA.

Almost a third of cars in the borough run on diesel and are contributing to a ‘health emergency’, according to health leaders.

Drivers on the Night Tube are being balloted for strike action Picture: Katie Collins/ PA Images

Drivers on the Night Tube will be balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay and career progression.

Yesterday, 12:00
60-years-ago

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Cheryl Cable and Clare Kelly are walking a total of 600,000 steps in February to raise money for the Havering Association for People with Disabilities

Charity supporters have pledged to walk hundreds of miles in aid of a disabled charity close to their hearts.

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Hackney Colliery Band with leader Steve Pretty in the foreground, holding a megaphone. Picture: Aidan Harris

This week, leader of the Hackney Colliery Band Steve Pretty, which performed at Queen’s Theatre this month, shares his top 10 favourite tunes.

Saturday, February 18, 2017
St Andrew's Church, Hornchurch in 1910

Prof Ged Martin reveals his theory about the 448 historical coins dug up in 1938

Friday, February 17, 2017
Some of Clockhouse Primary School's best-dressed pupils of World Book Day 2016. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Each year, hordes of Willy Wonkas, Mad Hatters, Gruffalos and Harry Potters walk the nation’s classrooms for the ultimate celebration of literature – World Book Day.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now