An investigation by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards has resulted in a prison sentence for a fraudster who scammed £11,562 out of local residents after carrying out work as an unqualified locksmith.
Shaun Phasey (49), trading as SP Locks and 24/7 Emergency Locksmith Services over a nine-month period, completed work for five customers who paid him using a chip-and-PIN device. They later noticed much higher amounts of money had been taken from their bank accounts. When they contacted Phasey, he offered to refund them but never did.
In October 2019, Phasey agreed to repay his victims in return for a reduced punishment of a suspended sentence and unpaid work. Phasey did not repay a penny however.
Therefore, on Monday 27 July 2020, Phasey was given an 18-month custodial sentence.
Denise Turner Stewart, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Communities, said, “Not only has Mr Phasey shown total ignorance and disrespect for the justice system, he has also left vulnerable residents in a complete state of fear after despicably scamming them out of thousands of pounds.
“The work being undertaken to stop these bogus traders is a serious priority for the county council and we are determined to bring these perpetrators to justice. People like this need to be stopped and the best way we can do this is by educating ourselves and our loved ones on how to avoid becoming a victim.”
One of Phasey’s victims has described experiencing feelings of dread when leaving the home because it reminds her of the time she locked herself out and found her trust abused by him. Phasey’s actions also caused additional stress to another victim, who was in his seventies and was recovering from cancer treatment at the time of the offence.
Compensation for his victims and confiscation of his criminal assets will be decided at a later hearing.