West Suffolk man ‘conned’ businessman out of hundreds of pounds over tractor swap, court told

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001

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A businessman who wanted to swap his tractor for a smaller one was conned out of hundreds of pounds by a man from West Suffolk, it has been alleged.

David Aves, 57, is said to have replied to an advertisement about the tractor in a specialist magazine but never delivered what he promised.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court has this week heard claims that despite never delivering the compact tractor he said he had, Aves had retained the £700 deposit he had been paid.

Aves, of Freewood Street, Bradfield St George, has pleaded not guilty to two offences of fraud between October 2013 and March 2014.

Giving evidence via a video link, Andrew Rogers who runs a bed and breakfast business in France said he had wanted to switch to a smaller model of tractor and in his advertisement had suggested a swap for the tractor he currently owned.

That led to Aves getting in touch, offering to supply a compact tractor in a swap with Mr Rogers paying an additional £1,500, the court was told.

Aves collected a £700 deposit from Mr Rogers, who has Parkinson’s Disease, but then failed to complete the deal after spending several months making excuses why he could not do so, said Mr Rogers.

Mr Rogers said he discovered that Aves had previous convictions for dishonesty after looking him up on the internet.

The prosecution have alleged that paperwork apparently relating to the ownership of the tractor Aves claimed to have in his ownership was false.

The former managing director of Hewitt International Salvage Management, Adam Hewett, told the jury that an invoice allegedly produced by the company was not genuine.

Mr Hewitt said the invoice had an incorrect VAT number and was apparently issued two months after the business had been sold to a new owner and was by then no longer trading under its own name.

He said: “I can 100 per cent clarify that this is not one of our documents.”

Aves is also accused of purchasing an agricultural generator from a company called Engines for Industry but never paying for it.

Prosecuting, Stephen Mather said Aves’s cheque for £3,547 bounced seven times and the company had never seen the generator again.

The trial continues.