Scales of justice tip against fish seller

Victims Marion and Alan Johnson
Victims Marion and Alan Johnson
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The owner of a fish selling firm known for pressuring elderly people into buying hundreds of pounds of fish has been brought to justice nearly two years after some of his firm’s crimes.

Peter Carroll’s firm P Caroll Fishers, based in Durham, struck in Lancashire in 2015, with several vulnerable elderly people scammed into parting with more than £200 for packs of fresh and frozen fish they couldn’t store or eat.

Marion Johnson was charged £204 for fish from a dodgy firm

Lancashire Trading Standards launched a probe after receiving several complaints in Ashton, as well as in Accrington and Rossendale.

At the time Ashton pensioner Marion Johnson, 85, had been told the firm would make up a “small pack” for £24 - but when she checked her receipt she was charged £204. Marion and her husband Alan, aged 88, 
previously told the Post they felt “dumb” after they were tricked into buying almost 10 times what they asked for.

The pair ended up with so much fish that they had to go out and pay £104 for a second freezer to store the 30 packets of fish. Carroll, 49, of Sycamore Road, Kimbleworth, Chester-le-Street, Durham, admitted engaging in unfair commercial practice by not telling Mrs Johnson of her right to cancel the contract.

The trader also admitted three further counts of engaging in unfair commercial practice, and one of aggressive commercial practice by delivering fish he had described as pensioner packs to an elderly woman, then demanding £204 for it.

He also admitted making a misleading omission by failing to disclose the price to customers.

The proceedings at 
Preston’s Sessions House court were adjourned to consider an application for a criminal behaviour order, which could prevent future similar activities.

Prosecuting, David Traynor said: “It’s essentially a systemic issue within the company itself, although he is not the man involved in the sale there is direct culpability in relation to the sales.”

Judge Sara Dodd listed his sentencing for March 29 and said: “All options will be open.”

He was given conditional bail.