6th October 2022

Caravan hire fraudster fined

The owner of a Lincolnshire caravan hire company has been found guilty of taking customers’ money and failing to deliver.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
These customers did not get what they paid for at all, and I’m glad that they now have justice and will be getting their money back

An investigation by Lincolnshire Trading Standards into the owner of a caravan hire company who defrauded customers has secured in a conviction.

Clive Denton (75), owner of Suntime Caravan Hire, was found guilty of eight counts of fraud at Lincoln Magistrates Court on 3 October.

Denton first came to the attention of Trading Standards in July 2019, when customers who had paid to hire caravans from him to attend the ‘New Wine’ festival in Peterborough came forward with complaints.

Having booked and paid for caravans which never arrived, the customers attempted to contact Denton but were unable to reach him. One customer did receive a caravan, but it was in an unfit and potentially unsafe condition – at one point it tipped over and the door fell off.

When invited to explain his actions by Lincolnshire Trading Standards, he failed to attend the interview. At trial he claimed a friend was running the business between August 2018 and November 2018, when the offences took place. This was contradicted by the customers, who had spoken with Denton directly.

Denton pleaded not guilty to eight counts of fraud for failing to provide the caravans and for providing one caravan that did not match the description. However, the court found him guilty of all eight charges and ordered him to pay full compensation of £2,888.54, plus £800 costs. He was also handed a conditional discharge for 24 months.

Senior Trading Standards Officer, Kirsty Toyne, who investigated the case, said: “These customers did not get what they paid for at all, and I’m glad that they now have justice and will be getting their money back.

“Our role as Trading Standards is to work with businesses, to help them make sure they’re following all the relevant legislation and being fair to their customers. We’re also here to protect consumers against unscrupulous businesses like this one from taking their money and not delivering on their promises.”

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