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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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i am one of 7 People afe have affected by this criminal.

Resolved Question:

Hi
i am one of 7 People afe have affected by this criminal. In brief we moved from the UK to France using a removal company called Anyvan, you place your requirements and removal companies bid. We believed initially that we were dealing with someone called Ben Vallance, we now know that the man concerned is called Stephen Charlesworth and uses different aliases. One of the victims tried taking Ben Vallance to court and sent us a copy of the court statement saying that though Ben Vallance used to work for SC and that his identity had been stolen by him. Basically we and the 6 other people in various parts of europe have not received the bulk of our possessions and the most valuable items such as our new tools worth £2000, 4 TV's lots of furniture is missing. We have all reported our situations to the police but we are told that it is not a crime! We are all desperate to know what to do. This guy continues to operate, we know of two more victims since we first reported our theft and this could have been avoided had the police intervened earlier. we believe that this man is preying on vulnerable people moving from the UK. He advertises insurance but has never produced any documents. He lies about his whereabouts saying he is en route in most cases. He was contracted to deliver the goods in two days in most cases. When he eventually di bring some of our belongings, most of it was damaged. He left one of his Luton vans on our premises which contained another persons stuff. When we queried him about it he just said that it was for a friend and he was 'looking after it'. We managed to contact the owner who denies any friendship and was incensed. He had been without his stuff for a long time, we managed to get it back to him. We have all had to re buy our goods and so have no money to sue him. Stephen Charlesworth is laughing at us and the police believing that he is untouchable. Please help us. Jacqui
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my Jacqui name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know the cost of replacing everything?

Customer:

Our loss would be about £5000. The other victims vary in the amounts of loss.Could we make a collective claim?

Alex Watts :

You could, but it would take it above a small claim. You need to keep it below £10,000 for that.

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.

Alex Watts :

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

Alex Watts :

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

Alex Watts :

If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

The fact that he has falsified his identity from the start would surely not be in his favour?

Alex Watts :

No, indeed.

Customer:

We need to know how we can take this forward with the police, why do they not see this as theft?

Alex Watts :

They see it as a civil dispute breach of contract. Sadly you can't make the Police act.

Alex Watts :

What you should do is write a formal letter to the Chief Constable and outline your complaint.

Alex Watts :

I am surprised they have not taken this up. Its theft or fraud.

Customer:

Done that. no response

Alex Watts :

You should get one, even if its a no

Alex Watts :

Sadly there is not much you can do. I would try your MP

Customer:

what could we say to the police that would convince them that it is theft or fraud?

Alex Watts :

Sadly you can't make them investigate/prosecute.

Alex Watts :

But get your MP involved too

Customer:

Tried the MP. no response

Alex Watts :

And the Chief Constable?

Alex Watts :

Try again I would

Customer:

How many people does he have to steal from before its recognised as a crime. What happened to crime prevention?

Alex Watts :

Indeed. I agree

Customer:

Unfortunately you haven't told us anything we don't already know

Alex Watts :

But send another letter to the Police and MP

Alex Watts :

You can consider a Judicial Review for their refusal to take this up.

Customer:

whats that?

Alex Watts :

This is where you issue proceedings in the High Court against the decision not to investigate.

Customer:

How much is that?

Alex Watts :

The matter would go before a High Court Judge who would decide whether their decision is legal and reasonable.

Alex Watts :

The Judge can agree with the decision or remit it back for further consideration

Alex Watts :

A full contested hearing is £10,000 and sadly you won't get legal aid with the rule changes. But if you win then you can ask the Court for costs back

Alex Watts :

But if your MP and Police won't do anything, your options are limited.

Customer:

I haven't got £10,000. so he wins again

Alex Watts :

But of course you can seek remedy in the County Court using the cheap steps I outlined above

Alex Watts :

A small claim may be the way forward

Alex Watts :

I can only sadly outline the legal steps available to you

Customer:

not cheap for us, I'm afraid. He has taken our assets

Alex Watts :

Indeed but a small claim there is only an issue fee and hearing fee

Alex Watts :

No need for lawyer fees

Alex Watts :

At least you have a good chance of getting the £5000 back

Customer:

But he just gives a false name, so gets away with it everytime

Alex Watts :

You can issue proceedings at his business address and put what his 'known name' is

Alex Watts :

But those are the choices:

Alex Watts :

1) Complain to the Police / MP

Alex Watts :

2) Issue a small claim

Alex Watts :

3) High Court Judicial Review

Alex Watts :

You could try the IPCC

Customer:

Ok. Thanks.

Alex Watts :

https://www.ipcc.gov.uk/

Alex Watts :

They could investigate the complaint if the Police refuse to

Alex Watts :

Hopefully this has given you something which helps

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

No thats all thanks

Alex Watts :

Great. If I could ask you to rate my service before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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