Trader Convicted of Unfair Practices

Andrew Johnson, leading Carolina Bracken, prosecuted a businessman who pleaded guilty to three offences of unfair trading, three days into his trial. 

Christopher Whatcott was prosecuted following an investigation by Hertfordshire County Council's Trading Standards Department into three businesses he ran that supplied Energy Performance Certificates for domestic premises. The offences to which he pleaded guilty related to the charging of excessive fees to consumers for purportedly cancelling their contracts with his businesses, and for charging customers' credit cards on multiple occasions.

He was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, and disqualified from acting as a director of a company for ten years. Passing sentence, His Honour Judge Carroll called Mr Whatcott an 'arrogant and manipulative bully' who was 'unfit to run any business'.