Spalding firm loses £3,000 in cheques fraud

Spalding Magistrates' Court in Sheep Market.
Spalding Magistrates' Court in Sheep Market.
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A Spalding flower bulbs company is more than £3,000 out of pocket after a penniless businessman put in two orders and his cheques bounced.

David Osbourne (32) has since gone bankrupt and the cash owed to Top Score Flower Bulbs, of Holbeach Road, is wrapped up in the totality of the bankruptcy.

His solicitor Mike Alexander told Spalding magistrates on Thursday: “I think he owes between £30,000 and £40,000 at the moment.”

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said Osbourne travelled from his home in Braintree, Essex, to the flower bulbs firm in August last year when his pre-ordered selection of flower bulbs was made ready for collection.

He handed over a cheque for £1,087.08 from a business account in the name of David’s Plants but asked the company to hang on a few days and not cash it until August 7 when there would be funds in the account.

Osborne returned on the 7th to pick up a second order worth almost £2,000 and presented a cheque from the same account.

Mr Clare said he telephoned the firm later that day with a further order, which was declined.

He said Osborne’s account was overdrawn to the tune of £1,442.47 on August 3 and there were insufficient funds at the time he presented the cheques.

Mr Clare said the flower bulbs company lost a total of £3,054.18 as a result of the transactions, including £60 in bank charges.

Osbourne, who pleaded guilty to fraud, was ordered to do 200 hours’ unpaid work as part of a community order and pay £85 costs.

Mr Alexander said Osbourne is now working in a meat factory.

He said: “His wife has told him if he ever runs a business again she is going to leave him.”