Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

500 fine for 7k fake jacket con

Mold Crown Court
Mold Magistrates ordered seized jackets to be given to charity

A "dispicable" conman must pay nearly £7,000 after conning an elderly couple into buying fake leather jackets.

Salvature De-Pasquale, 48, from Wigan, called on a couple - 88 and 89 - in Mold, to show them a genuine coat.

He said he could not afford a baggage charge to go to Italy and persuaded them to buy 10 jackets which were fakes, Flintshire magistrates heard.

But unbeknown to him the couple made a note of his car registration number later used by police to trace him.

Flintshire Magistrates' Court was told they were "despicable offences".

The court heard De-Pasquale had approached his victim as he was mowing the lawn of his home in Caergwrle. The conman said he was returning from a trade fair.

After claiming he needed to sell the jackets before boarding a flight home to Italy, he was invited into the couple's home and the elderly gentleman tried on the real coat.

De-Pasquale said he was looking for pensioners to whom he could give the jackets for free but, the court heard, the couple were then persuaded to buy 10 jackets and agreed a price of £500.

This sends out a warning to people who try and deceive people by using doorstep crime techniques that the court will deal seriously with such cases
Flintshire's trading standards' Richard Powell

However, by the time De-Pasquale had left, the real jacket had disappeared and the 10 remaining coats later proved to be fake.

Tim Dillon, prosecuting for Flintshire trading standards, said the defendant's claims to the couple about flying home to Italy were completely false.

The court heard the truth was that De-Pasquale lived in a nice four-bedroomed house in Green Lane, Hindley Green in Wigan, and drove a silver Mercedes car.

De-Pasquale was fined £2,500 on each of two unfair trading offences under The Consumer Protection Act.

Magistrates ordered him to pay the couple £600 compensation - £500 for the jackets and £100 for the trauma they had been caused.

With costs of £1,386, the total court bill was £6,986.

The court also heard that the jackets seized at the defendant's home and car, and they will be given to a charity.

Speaking after the case Richard Powell, senior trading standards officer for Flintshire, said: "This sends out a warning to people who try and deceive people by using doorstep crime techniques that the court will deal seriously with such cases."

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