A DIRECTOR of two double glazing window firms which lied to customers in York and Pickering has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay more than £10,000 in compensation.

York Crown Court heard how Ebor Home Improvements Ltd won two contracts in York by falsely claiming their windows would lessen the customers' bills and that they would do energy surveys of the customers' current windows. One customer paid out £9,000 for work that was never done.

The court also heard that Ebor Yorkshire Ltd made false claims about possible discounts and reduction in heating bills to win a Pickering contract.

But customers' relatives realised something was wrong and alerted York trading standards officers.

Director of both companies, Jason Hoyland, 44, of Blakehill Avenue, Bradford, pleaded guilty to six offences of mis-selling double glazing and was given a ten-month prison sentence suspended for two years on condition he does 250 hours' unpaid work. He was also disqualified from running a company for five years.

The Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, told him: "The whole picture is that you had a cavalier regard to the regulations that were in place to protect consumers and those most vulnerable. It was a breach of trust, and complainants suffered harm.”

He ordered Hoyland to pay £9,500 in compensation to one complainant and £625 to another plus £6,000 prosecution costs.

Hoyland's mitigation was that he did not know what his employees were saying to customers but accepted that he should have trained them not to misrepresent the standard of glass actually being used.

Saleswoman for both companies, Stella Sowe, 61, of Cocking Lane, Addingham, Moorside, Ilkley, pleaded guilty to two mis-selling offences and was sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

Her mitigation was she had not been given any training, but had delivered the sales pitch the company had told her to without checking the details.

Cllr Ann Reid, of City of York Council which brought the prosecution, said: “Consumers have a right to expect the truth from the companies they deal with and the vast majority do operate fairly. However, where companies give false information and do not carry out their promises, as this prosecution shows, we will investigate and bring them to justice.”

Both companies were based in West Yorkshire and no longer exist.