Coleraine DJ Michael Stockman, trading as Northwest Discos was today found guilty of 12 offences under the Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court.
He was sentenced to six months imprisonment and ordered to pay £1200 compensation to his victims.
The Trading Standards Service investigated 11 complaints received between December 2013 and July 2014, from consumers who paid Michael Stockman a total of £1,320 to provide DJ services at their forthcoming weddings and parties.
In eight of the cases he cancelled the discos less than 24 hours beforehand. On six occasions Michael Stockman said either himself or a relative had been involved in a serious car accident and on two occasions said his father had died. The other three people received no contact from him at all. Only one person was refunded the £120 paid.
The amounts paid to Michael Stockman ranged from £40 which he took as a deposit for a birthday party, to £300 which he took in two payments for a wedding disco. Michael Stockman accepted payment for most of these bookings whilst aware that he was under investigation for other similar offences.
Moira Todd from the Trading Standards Service said: “Michael Stockman took money from a lot of people to provide discos at their weddings and parties, and either cancelled at the last minute or ignored their messages and calls in the preceding weeks. His actions were cruel and had the potential to ruin what should be the best day of people’s lives.
“He made no apology to anyone and totally ignored requests for refunds. The Trading Standards Service is determined to bring traders who behave like Michael Stockman to court and hold them accountable for their activities.”
Anyone who has paid a trader to provide goods or carry out a service which has not been fulfilled should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262.