A MAN who thought he was buying a private number plate including his name has told a court how he was conned out of more than £2,000.
Stuart Morrow said he bought a number plate with the letters STU from Peter Swatton, who ran a business called Cherish Marks.
But, after handing over £2,150, Mr Morrow told a court that the number plate never showed up, despite frequently trying to contact Swatton.
As reported in The News, Swatton, 54, of Fontley Road, Titchfield, is accused of conning dozens of people out of more than £70,000 in a personalised number plate scam.
He has entered not-guilty pleas to all charges at Portsmouth Crown Court.
The prosecution says that 24 people from all over the country were duped into parting with their money.
Mr Morrow told the jury he was left confused after buying the plate as it still appeared ‘for sale’ on Swatton’s website.
He said: ‘It was still on there for sale.
‘I said “why is it still on here?”.
‘His comments were “nobody can buy that plate, that plate is yours”.’
Mr Morrow bought the plate in April 2008 and spent months trying to contact Swatton, he said.
He said Swatton told him he was having trouble getting an MoT on the donor vehicle, an Austin Healey, from which the plate was being taken.
Mr Morrow wrote to Swatton and said he felt ‘extremely let down with your service’.
Mr Morrow said: ‘I did not get a single penny back or the registration plate.’
He said Swatton never offered an explanation about what happened to the number plate.
The trial is expected to last until early March.