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Four Men Jailed After Tarmac Fraud On Whitby Resident And More

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Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 9:35am 5th December 2018.

Four men have been jailed for a total of 14 years over tarmac fraud - one of their victims was in Whitby.

The men, Shaun Thomas Snr, 50, his sons Shaun Thomas Jnr, 28, and Henry Hartley Thomas, 25, all of both Holmelea traveller’s site, Elvington, York, and Malim Road, Darlington, and their associate Thomas Mounsey, 56, of Durham Road, Bishop Auckland, were convicted after a three- week trial at Teesside Crown Court.

They were convicted of conspiring to defraud residents and businesses across in the Yorkshire and Humber and North East areas over tarmac work at their premises.

Shaun Thomas Snr, Henry Thomas and Thomas Mounsey were also convicted of money laundering offences in relation to the proceeds.

All four men were sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.

The investigation was conducted by Operation Gauntlet, the multi-agency safeguarding team hosted at North Yorkshire County Council Trading Standards.

It began in July 2016 after complaints were received by trading standards and the police from residents about false statements being made by the men when they cold called, offering tarmacking services.

The men claimed they were working for the Highways Agency or local councils in relation to legitimate road repairs taking place in the residents’ areas.

They also claimed they had material left over from the legitimate work and offered to Tarmac driveways and parking areas at a low price.

Thinking they were getting a good deal and were dealing with legitimate traders, the residents agreed to the work.

However, work was carried out to areas which were not agreed to and when jobs were completed, the men demanded significantly higher prices.

In most cases the prices were inflated by tenfold.

In the first report to the police and trading standards, a resident from the Whitby area agreed to work to his farm track.

Based on the price he was quoted, he calculated the final bill would be about £2,300 but he was presented with an invoice for more than £23,000.

When he queried the price and refused to pay, he was bombarded with phone calls from Henry Thomas and Thomas Mounsey, leaving him fearful and intimidated.

The men traded as Franky Direct Ltd, HRT Trading Ltd and TNT Asphalt Services, using business addresses in Darlington.

Evidence was presented showing they had no connection with any of the authorities they had associated themselves with and that, in fact, they were buying tarmac to order when they had secured a contract after cold calling residents.

Sentencing the men, Judge Sean Morris said:

“I have had to see witnesses eye to eye in this case who were scared. They’d been scared by you lot. I take the view this was an unpleasant and deliberate conspiracy.

Where people didn’t come up with what you wanted, if necessary, a lot of pressure was applied.

I think there was a degree of targeting rural farms. There were no police around. They felt vulnerable to attack and repercussions.

I am of the view this was a well-planned, well-organised family affair, with you Mounsey, a close friend, the getter of work and enforcer when it didn’t go right. A lot of people were deeply upset by you.”

He said of North Yorkshire Trading Standards:

“I never fail to be impressed with way the investigation was conducted by trading standards. It was meticulous. This is the third or fourth case in last year or two I have heard and they are fast becoming the organisation setting the benchmark for fraud investigations.”

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Jon Hodgeon, of North Yorkshire Police, said:

“This is a fantastic result and a testament to the power of partnership working.

Fraud and organised crime are priorities for North Yorkshire Police with rogue trading and doorstep sellers posing a particular threat, specifically to the most vulnerable members of our community.

I would like to thank the officers of both Trading Standards and North Yorkshire Police for their hard work in tackling this gang and I would say to anyone thinking of coming to North Yorkshire to commit crime that we will find you and will bring you to justice.”

 Shaun Thomas Sr
Shaun Thomas Sr
Shaun Thomas Jr
Shaun Thomas Jr
Henry Hartley Thomas
Henry Hartley Thomas
Thomas Mounsey
Thomas Mounsey

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