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Driving instructor ordered to refund students thousands of pounds

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A DRIVING instructor who refused to refund clients was given a suspended prison sentence and told by a judge he had acted “extremely badly and criminally”.
Warrington Borough Council’s trading standards department brought charges against Robert Teasdale, 57, who ran North West Crash Courses.
Teasdale, of Moss Lane, Partington, pleaded guilty to engaging in unfair commercial practices  after he refused to refund 11 customers between 2013 and 2015.
He  was sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for two years and also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £7,724 to his victims and costs of £7,500.
Judge Roger Dutton told Teasdale he had a “cavalier approach to customers”.
He said: “Witnesses say you were difficult, bombastic and awkward. Legitimate customers and members of the public need to be sure they are respected as customers and treated in an honest way.
“You must learn to respect others and regard customers as a valuable commodity NOT a cash cow”
The judge also commented that it was “entirely appropriate” that the members of the public who had lost money should have gone to trading standards and that the council should have brought the prosecution.
Cllr Judith Guthrie, Warrington Borough Council’s lead member for public protection, said: “This is an appalling case where a business owner thought he could run roughshod over the rights of consumers.
“This is unacceptable and our trading standards officers will not allow this sort of practice in Warrington.”
Dave Watson, public protection unit manager, said: “The judge’s comments illustrate how seriously the courts will take this sort of practice. Our trading standards officers are there to protect consumers from this illegal behaviour. ”

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