Boat broker gets fours years jail

Published: Wednesday, 02 May 2018

A Nottingham boat broker has been jailed for four years for conning boaters out of their boats.

David Shakespeare, of Nottingham Boat Sales, cheated his customers out of a total of £480,000 by his nefarious dealings, Alan Tilbury reports.

Failed to send cash

He sold boats for people but failed to send on the cash, either ignoring their requests or sending dud cheques to fob them off. At one point he sent a cheque for £27,000 for a boat he had sold yet only had  85p in the account!

At his trial at Nottingham Crown Court it was told that one of his victims, pensioner Terence Emmerson, who arranged for the company to sell his boat for £72,000, learned it was sold for only £62,000, with Terence receiving a payment cheque for  £30,000 which bounced. He never received anything more.

Received nothing

Another boater, Michael Sanderson, built a 58ft narrowboat and arranged for the company to sell it, and it was subsequently sold for £43,000 but again, Michael received nothing.

Customers who visited Shakespeare's Nottingham Boat Sales yard at Meadow Lane yard, discovered it had closed down, with no one on site.

At the court he blamed the cost of moving from Castle Marina and the downturn in the boating business for the company's demise.

Fobbing them off

In addition to prison, he also received a seven years ban on being a company director and was told by judge James Sampson: 

"You used money due to one customer to pay another. You were fobbing them off. You acted without a care for the impact on their lives and that impact was significant."

"This was clearly an abuse of trust. You relied on the historic reputation of the business and worked on a 'trust me' basis. It was a fairly sophisticated level of dishonesty."

Justin Wigoder prosecuting, told the court the company acted as a brokerage and helped people who wanted to buy or sell boats, and It traded legally but ran into trouble in 2013 when it risked being wound up, so took out a loan that did not surfice so turned to dishonesty.