Monday, April 15, 2024

Kitchen company director sentenced for misleading customers

A kitchen company director who misled customers and left them thousands of pounds out of pocket has been sentenced following a successful case brought by Derbyshire County Council’s Trading Standards team.

Sonny Shacklock, who ran and was the director of Sonna Kitchens Ltd, based in Chapel Street, Belper, admitted 10 charges of breaching the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at a hearing in December 2023 at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court.

Shacklock (40), of Lambert Road, Grimsby, was charged personally in his role as director of the business – 9 charges for unfair misleading actions (claiming customers’ money was protected) and one charge of unfair trading, for failing to meet professional diligence across the period of offending, all under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

Earlier this week (21 February 2024) at Derby Crown Court Judge Hurst sentenced Shacklock to 8 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, 150 hours unpaid work requirement, and disqualification from acting as a company director for 5 years.

Derbyshire County Council’s Trading Standards team became aware of problems with Sonna Kitchens Ltd when they were contacted by customers who either had partial work done, or no work at all, by the business, despite paying large amounts of money to replace their kitchens.

Nine witnesses said they had been told when arranging the kitchen contracts that their deposits were safe as they had been told the business used an insurance policy to protect payments. These policies were not created, and the money remained unprotected.

As a result of the breaches of contract, in total, the customers are owed more than £59,000, which they cannot recover through civil recovery due to the company’s insolvency.

Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said: “The sentence handed down by the court sends out a strong message that this kind of underhand trading will not be tolerated and will have serious consequences.

“We very much welcome the sentence which comes after a thorough investigation by our Trading Standards officers who investigated complaints received about this company.

“It is very sad and frustrating that the customers left out of pocket have no route to go down to recoup their losses but I hope they can take some comfort in knowing that this dishonest businessman has been successfully prosecuted for his actions.”

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