Mattress fraud cost company over £1,700

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

A man who fraudulently took delivery of mattresses at a Glossop house has been given a suspended prison sentence.

On October 9, an order for two mattresses worth £829 was placed with a company called Warehouse Direct, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard.

The order was paid for using a credit card and the name of the purchaser was given as Peter Jackson with an address on Whitfield Avenue, prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said.

The mattresses were delivered to the address and signed for by a male using the name Peter Jackson.

A second order was then placed on October 13, this time for four mattresses and valued at £942. Again the name of Peter Jackson was given and the order was paid for using a different credit card.

The mattresses were again delivered to the Whitfield Avenue address, Mrs Fitzgerald said.

However, when it was attempted to place a third order on November 7, the company became suspicious. They delivered a mattress to the Whitfield Avenue house but police were also watching and observed a man signing for the order, using the name of Peter Jackson. They then went to the house and arrested the man, discovered to be Michael Skeer, and recovered the mattress.

The mattresses which had been delivered on the two previous occasions have not been recovered, leaving the company £1,771 out of pocket, Mrs Fitzgerald added.

Skeer was interviewed by police twice but refused to comment.

The 31-year-old, of Abbey Grove, Mottram, admitted dishonestly making a false representation.

Russell Wild, defending, said: “He accepts he knew what was going on from the start. He wasn’t the person who placed the order but he knew what was happening. He took delivery of them and received payment for that.

“He has a long unenviable record but it is some 11 years since any dishonesty offence.

“I have represented Mr Skeer since childhood. He has done many custodial sentences.

“He has had a problem with alcohol and possibly other substances since he was about 14 and there is an opportunity here to assist him.”

Chairman of the Bench Mr Graham told Skeer: “There was an element of planning and a degree of sophistication.

“There was a serious financial impact upon this business.”

Skeer was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He was also given 12 months supervision and a six-month alcohol treatment requirement, and must also pay £355 compensation.