Verdicts returned in Bury St Edmunds salesmen fraud case

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Court report
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Two salesmen from a Bury St Edmunds company have been found guilty of fraud while two others have been cleared of the same charge.

All worked for DWS Environmental Ltd and pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud by false representation.

On Friday, a jury at Ipswich Crown Court returned verdicts after considering the evidence in the trial for seven days.

The prosecution alleged that customers were ‘dishonestly induced’ into long-term leases for water coolers with the only way out being the payment of large cancellation fees.

Prosecutor Christopher Kerr alleged that customers were misled into believing they were signing up for a limited period of between six and 12 months when their commitment to keep paying leasing charges was actually going to be up to six years.

It was also claimed the men altered sales agreements after meetings with customers in order to benefit from higher commission payments.

On Friday, Christopher Gill, 39, of The Vinefields, Bury, was found not guilty of three offences while the prosecution offered no evidence on a fourth.

Gary Green, 53, of Peregrine Road, Ilford, was found not guilty of seven offences and no evidence was offered on one.

Alan Wilson, 50, of Curzon Street, Burton on Trent, was found guilty of two offences, not guilty of three and no evidence was offered by the prosecution on one.

David Leather, 50, of Trafalgar Road, Manchester, was found guilty of two offences, not guilty of three and no evidence was offered on a further three.

The prosecution was brought by Suffolk Trading Standards after an investigation in the wake of complaints from customers of the company.

Wilson and Leather have both been granted bail until they return to court in late July to be sentenced.