Mobility firms defrauded elderly in Derbyhsire

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Bosses of two former Derbyshire mobility companies have admitted defrauding elderly victims of over £40,000.

Derbyshire County Council’s trading standards team carried out one of its biggest ever investigations after receiving a wave of complaints about companies called Virgo Healthcare Limited and Lifestyle.

Both were run from premises on Gainsborough Business Park, Long Eaton, by husband and wife Amarjit Gill, 50, and Ranjit Gill, 44, of Brackenfield Drive, Giltbrook, Nottingham.

The Gills appeared at Derby Crown Court on September 5 to each admit 25 charges for offences which saw them fraudulently make £42,515 from elderly victims.

Staff from Virgo Healthcare and Lifestyle sold mobility aids – including reclining chairs, orthopaedic beds and walk-in-showers – costing up to £3,892 to elderly buyers through home visits after speculative telesales calls.

Some of the fraud offences relate to the elderly victims not being given their money back when they tried to cancel the contract during the legal seven day cooling off period – this right to cancel is given to anyone who agrees a contract in their home.

In the worst cases, the goods weren’t even delivered to the victims – leaving them significantly out of pocket and without the mobility aids they had paid for.

Councillor Kevin Parkinson, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “We’re pleased that our long and detailed investigation has resulted in guilty pleas from all four defendants in this case.

“By their very nature, these companies dealt with some of the most vulnerable members of society in their homes.

“Failing to refund money when a contract is legally cancelled and pocketing money without delivering the mobility aids which were bought and paid for is fundamentally dishonest.

“Our successful investigation and prosecution should send out a clear message that we will not tolerate crimes of this nature.”

David Messom, 27, of Maws Lane, Kimberley, Nottingham, and Samuel Routh, 26, of Wilkinson Close, Chilwell, Nottingham, were employed by the Gills as managers.

The pair also appeared at Derby Crown Court where Messom pleaded guilty to nine fraud charges and Routh pleaded guilty to eight fraud charges.

All four will be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Friday, September 28.