GUILTY: Jury convicts Anchor Mobility’s boss of trading offences as judge warns of a prison sentence
Following a trial that lasted three weeks, the Jury has found David Waters, sole Director of Anchor Mobility, guilty of a string of trading offences which conned elderly and disabled customers out of more than £80,000.
Waters, 71, of Manwick Road, Felixstowe, had pleaded not guilty to 18 charges brought against him and his company after investigations by Suffolk Trading Standards indicated multiple trading offences.
Trading Standards had been alerted to Waters and his mobility furniture company that sold reclining chairs and adjustable beds when various victims complained about the company.
Investigations between October 2016 and August 2017 uncovered a string of offences, with over 20 elderly and vulnerable customers falling victim to Anchor Mobility.
On the 9th October 2019, Waters appeared in court charged with fraudulent trading by taking payment without delivering goods, pressurising customers to make purchases, and failing to issue refunds.
Additionally, Anchor Mobility and Waters were accused of engaging in an unfair commercial practise which contravened requirements of professional diligence and 13 offences of being involved in misleading commercial practices by failing to fulfil representations that products would be delivered to customers within an agreed time period.
On the 31st October 2019, unanimous verdicts by the jury found Waters and Anchor Mobility guilty on 16 of these charges.
He will be sentenced on the 19th of December 2019.
Condemning Waters for having “swindled tens of thousands” from disabled and elderly people, Judge Emma Peters underlined the “compelling evidence” of the case and stated that she was considering a prison sentence for the mobility boss.
A repeat offender
During the trial, the court heard how Waters had operated a similar mobility company before Anchor Mobility called Mobility UK Ltd in 2013 and had previously pleaded guilty to a number of consumer protection and unfair trading violations.
“These offences show that Mr Waters has a propensity to commit these type of offences,” stated Mr Goulding during the recent trial.
According to the prosecution, following the end of Mobility UK Ltd, Waters had set up two more mobility businesses – UK Mobility Direct and Westminster Recliners – in addition to taking out a £300,000 loan from a finance company.
The prosecutor contended that during the first eight months of 2017, Waters repaid over £130,000 of the loan whilst taking deposits from customers of Anchor Mobility, allegedly using the funds from his new customers to clear his previous debts.
Waters had insisted throughout the trial that he was innocent, claiming that Anchor Mobility treated customers as if they were “a family member.”
Following the verdict, Stuart Hughes, Senior Trading Standards Officer, told the BBC: “Anchor Mobility Limited and David Waters owed their customers a special duty of care, but instead caused vulnerable people great stress, anger and financial loss that they could ill afford.”
BHTA condemns unethical trader
Denouncing the trading practices of Waters and Anchor Mobility, the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) told THIIS that the actions of the Suffolk-based mobility company reinforce the need for members of the public to look out for BHTA-approved members.
Andrew Stevenson, Interim Director General of the BHTA, told THIIS: “The guilty finding highlights the importance of avoiding traders who are not members of the BHTA.
“Our members are all governed by a Code of Practice that is agreed with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
“This means that they must demonstrate that they are committed to the highest levels of customer service.
“More needs to be done by businesses and others to promote the BHTA and Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) logos in order to help people buy with confidence.”https://thiis.co.uk/guilty-jury-convicts-anchor-mobilitys-boss-of-trading-offences-as-judge-warns-of-a-prison-sentence/https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/David-Waters-Anchor-Mobility.jpg?fit=660%2C371&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/David-Waters-Anchor-Mobility.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1NewsroomRetailer Newsadjustable beds,Anchor Mobility,BHTA,British Healthcare Trades Association,code of practice,David Waters,guilty,Ipswich Crown Court,jury,Lord Chris Rennard,Mobility UK Ltd,riser recliner,sentence,Suffolk Trading Standards,trading offences,UK Mobility Direct,Westminster ReclinersFollowing a trial that lasted three weeks, the Jury has found David Waters, sole Director of Anchor Mobility, guilty of a string of trading offences which conned elderly and disabled customers out of more than £80,000. Waters, 71, of Manwick Road, Felixstowe, had pleaded not guilty to 18 charges brought...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine