Having been convicted of the consumer protection offence of contravening professional diligence, Peter Carroll, a door-to-door fish salesman, was sentenced on 5 April 2019 by HHJ Crowson at Teesside Crown Court to 12 months’ immediate imprisonment and a 7 year Criminal Behaviour Order preventing him from all unsolicited doorstep selling.
The commercial practices of Carroll and his workers included:
- Targeting elderly and vulnerable consumers, some with serious health problems.
- Supplying excess quantities of fish, often more than was ordered or required by the consumers.
- Charging exorbitant prices, often not disclosing the prices until the fish had been placed in consumers’ homes.
- Entering into consumers’ homes uninvited, thereby pressurising them into a sale.
- Supplying poor quality fish.
HHJ Crowson agreed that the 27 victims identified by Trading Standards in their investigation, who paid a total of £5,273 to Carroll’s business, were indicative of Carroll’s overall business strategy, which had a much wider impact. Confiscation proceedings are presently progressing.
Cameron Crowe advised Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council on this case and the activities of several other mobile fish sellers suspected to be unlawful. Carroll was the first to be brought to court and was prosecuted by Jonathan Goulding and Sabrina Goodchild.