Thursday, 17 April 2008

Police dossier grows on rogue photographer

A DOSSIER being compiled by The Post on rogue West Somerset photographer Mark Stothard (pictured, left) has been growing by the day.
The Post has been inundated with calls and emails since revealing in last week’s edition some of the businesses practices of Mr Stothard, who trades under a variety of names, including Mark The Photographer.
The dossier will be handed to the police by The Post’s advertising and marketing manager, Dudley Seale, who contacted the constabulary after the newspaper suffered prolonged harassment by Mr Stothard for money he claimed he was owed.
Since last week, The Post has established that a business calling itself South West Debt Recovery and using a Taunton PO Box number is actually registered to Mr Stothard at one of the accommodation addresses he uses in the county town.
South West Debt Recovery had been purporting to act on behalf of ‘its client’ Mr Stothard and had issued threats of court action and complaints to various authorities, including the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset.
It has also been found that even more county court judgements have been lodged against Mr Stothard’s businesses than previously thought.
It was known that a CCJ for a £12,194 debt was granted in December, shortly before Mr Stothard began billing The Post for sums of nearly £1,000.
Now, The Post has learned of a CCJ for £3,852 in Exeter County Court on April 3, another for nearly £1,000 in Taunton County Court on March 10, while a number of other businesses have said they are in the process of trying to recover money from him.
At least two different website designers - both based in Wales - have said they designed websites for Mr Stothard and had not been fully paid.
One said he was recruited via an advert placed by Mr Stothard on the JobCentre website and was commissioned to work 50 hours a week but had only received one initial payment despite completing an extensive portfolio of four different websites for him.
Another of Mr Stothard’s businesses, Inco IBS Ltd, was found to have seven CCJs totalling more than £8,000, although the company was not trading.
Mr Seale said: “I would urge anybody who has had dealings with Mr Stothard or any of businesses and who feels aggrieved to get in touch with us.”

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