Friday, July 1, 2022

Suspended sentence concludes long-running headstone fraud case

A Spalding man has received a suspended sentence for fraud and theft charges after an investigation and enforcement action by Lincolnshire Trading Standards.

Julian Karl Gaunt was the director of JG Select Memorials Ltd and repeatedly took money for memorial headstones which he failed to deliver, failed to give refunds for and in one case, took a headstone to repair that he never returned.

Following an investigation and action taken by Lincolnshire Trading Standards, an Enforcement Order under the Enterprise Act 2002 was granted by the County Court in 2017. The Enforcement Order acts as an injunction against Mr Gaunt as an individual to cease trading in a way that harms the collective interests of consumers. Further charges were brought against Mr Gaunt under the Fraud Act 2006 and The Theft Act 1968.

Mr Gaunt pleaded guilty to 5 of 9 counts at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday 16 May 2022, many years after the first complaints were made. The Judge acknowledged that the delay in concluding what was Lincoln Crown Court’s oldest case, was due to Gaunt himself, commenting that he “could have and should have pleaded guilty much sooner.”

He was sentenced to 9 months per guilty plea, to run concurrently, which was suspended for two years. Further as a way of limiting Mr Gaunt’s freedom the Judge imposed a curfew from 7pm – 7am for four months, monitored by way of an electronic tag. The Judge warned Mr Gaunt any breach of the curfew will be reported directly back to him and they would not be taken lightly.

Joanne Hocking, senior trading standards officer, from Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: “This case serves as a warning to traders that they cannot get away with unfair and fraudulent business practices. Whilst the Judge was of the opinion the business was not initially set up to defraud customers, there was a point in time it would have been ‘crystal clear’ the orders could no longer be fulfilled, and Mr Gaunt should have taken steps to deal with this instead of taking more orders and customers’ money. The Judge also recognised the vulnerability of the customers due to their circumstances and grieving.

“Throughout this process he has buried his head in the sand – not communicating with customers, failing to get legal representation or turn up to court hearings, even landing him with a warrant out for his arrest. All of this has only made things worse for everyone involved. I hope the families who had paid for headstones in good faith can now get some closure from this outcome.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £27.55 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.


Latest posts

Popular Scunthorpe cycling route opens after £500,000 levelling-up cash injection

A popular cycling route has been further extended, meaning even more people across Scunthorpe can safely access jobs, education and leisure. The Scunthorpe Ridgeway –...

Lincolnshire leads £1m electric vehicle charging point bid

Lincolnshire County Council has led a bid for almost £1million in funding, as part of Government’s Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Pilot, which could deliver...

Rotary Swimarathon organiser named for Queen’s Baton Relay

Rotary Swimarathon organiser Roger Graves has been named as the fourth local batonbearer in Grantham's stage of the Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay on...

Arts and heritage organisation acquires iconic Grade II listed buildings in Grimsby

Arts and heritage organisation and charity Our Big Picture has acquired iconic Grade II listed buildings dating from 1781 at 17 to 21 Bethlehem...

Lincolnshire: Levelling Up through the Visitor Economy – Destination Lincolnshire gets ready for first event

Booking is now open for Destination Lincolnshire’s ‘Levelling Up through the Visitor Economy’, an event talking about Lincolnshire’s £131m regeneration journey through a series...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.