No-show DJ convicted of theft
A DJ in Northern Ireland who cancelled bookings on the morning of weddings by falsely claiming his father had died has been convicted of theft.
Coleraine rogue trader Michael Stockman, 30, took £800 from six customers before their weddings or parties. In all cases he failed to turn up - often texting his unwitting victims at short notice.
A statement from Trading Standards authorities said: "He promised to deliver a service and failed to do this."
His excuse for cancelling on four different occasions between the start of August 2012 and end of September that year was that his father had died the previous day or morning.
Stockman continued to make bookings and take payments from his victims. He did not refund any of the money, Trading Standards said.
The Knockantern Green-based businessman traded as North West Discos and was found guilty at Coleraine Magistrates' Court of nine theft offences. He will be sentenced in July.
The case was originally brought before a magistrate in December. The defendant was convicted in his absence of the same nine theft offences but the conviction was later set aside and the case reheard.
Stormont's Trading Standards Service investigated after receiving six complaints. Each person paid Stockman to provide a DJ service at their weddings, parties or charity events. He failed to do that or refund any of the money. In four cases he took cash after meeting them.
Michelle Craig, a spokeswoman for Trading Standards, said: "These cases show that Michael Stockman is a rogue trader who has taken £800 in cash from his victims.
"In addition, cancelling a booking on the morning of a wedding would cause immense stress, on what should be a happy occasion for the families concerned."
She added: "Any consumer considering engaging the services of a trader should always try to get a personal recommendation and only pay the minimum amount possible before the service is delivered."