OAPs pressured into sales by pushy peddler

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By Paul Thornton

A PUSHY salesman who cajoled vulnerable OAPs into handing over cash through high-pressure selling has been fined and ordered to pay back his victims.Sukhdave Singh

Market stall owner Sukhdave Singh, 40, took £1,200 from one 83-year-old man during three months of repeated visits to his Edinburgh home.

Another elderly lady said she bought clothes from Singh “just to get him out of her house”.

Singh was arrested after the family of one of his victims complained about the high-pressure peddling and has spent the last three months in custody.

And at Edinburgh Sheriff Court he was ordered to hand back the cash. He was also fined after he admitted three breaches of the peace.

Fiscal depute John Kirk told the court how 83-year-old John Platt suffered repeated advances from the over-eager salesman before his family stepped in to complain.

Hard-sell

Mr Kirk said: “It is a case of hard selling going beyond the hard sell and into conduct which had rendered some concern on behalf of the complainer’s relatives.

“It appears Singh has been cold calling to sell some goods.

“The complainer in charge two is an 83-year-old man who is easy going of nature and lives quietly and frugally.”

Mr Kirk said Mr Platt told family about Singh’s behaviour after they asked him why he had bought a dinner suit that he had no need of.

After they called in police, other victims of Singh’s bullying ways came to light and other people from the Edinburgh area complained about him.

Joyce Morrison, 79, was pushed into buying £120 worth of clothes from Singh while May Douglas paid £25.

Mr Kirk said: “In one case the 72-year-old complainer states that she bought a cardigan for £25 just to get him out of her house.

Criminality

“The aggressive selling had moved out of good conduct and into criminality.”

Mr Kirk added that as well as clothes, Singh was selling things like orange juice squeezers.

Singh’s solicitor, Ray Megson, said his client had offered “value for money” and insisted that he had not been guilty of fraud or intimidation.

Mr Megson said Singh – who runs a stall at Berwick Upon Tweed and Newcastle – has now offered to pay all the money back to the unhappy customers.

He added the period on remand had related to far more serious allegations than Singh had now admitted and said that period was the equivalent of a six-month sentence.

Sheriff Derrick McIntyre said: “You have been in custody since May 16 in respect of a petition which had allegations of fraud, intimidation, mis-selling and breach of the peace.

“However the Crown has now accepted a plea to three charges of breach of the peace involving what could be described as high-pressure selling to elderly people.”

Sheriff McIntyre ordered Singh to pay back a total of £1,345 to his three victims. He also fined Singh, of Natwich Drive, Edinburgh, £1,800.

The high level of the fines, Sheriff McIntyre said, was to reflect the vulnerable nature of Singh’s victims.

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