First of all may I thank all of the well-wishers who have been so kind as to write to me offering their condolences re the rogue traders I have recently had the misfortune to be robbed by.
Thank you too to all those victims of this loathsome pair of individuals who have written to me to tell me their stories. I promise that I will do everything I can to bring these people to justice.
For those of you who do not know the story I shall give you a brief outline of events.
In May I decided to change my print company as I wasn’t happy with the way the sixth edition of the A to Z of almost Everything was printed. It had always been a Royal size book but CPI Antony Rowe (Clowes) initially typeset the book incorrectly – not leaving enough space for the pagination - and then omitted the side titles causing me to have to have the book re-typeset for the second print run.
The book consequently had to be restructured in A4 which effectively meant I earned no profit whatsoever throughout the print runs as their costs were prohibitive to say the least and I ended up trying to keep sales down to save myself money.
I placed ‘UK Printers’ in a Google search and a company calling itself UK Print Ltd came up at the top of the list so I rang the London number on the website and spoke to a jovial Welshman calling himself Stuart.
‘Stuart’ immediately gave me the hard sell and told me about how he printed work for the British Museum and had countless positive testimonies. He went on to say he knew my typesetter and had ‘done a couple of jobs for him’. He also told me that CPI were known to be a very arrogant bunch and that he could do a much better hands-on job for me, would turnaround the book within a week instead of the ten working days CPI took and when I suggested I was taking a bit of a risk with him he replied “It is me who is taking the risk Trev as I’ll offer you the same 90 day terms you receive from Clowes so if you don’t like my work then you don’t pay me”.
Time went by and alarms bells started to ring as ‘Stuart’ became elusive. And then an email turned up saying that for the first print run he would require the money up front. By now I had invested considerable time and effort into the project and my deadline of October 1 was looming large and after discussing things with my typesetter I took a sharp intake of breath and decided I would have to trust this guy.
Deadlines came and went and the panic started to set in. I decided to copy my typesetter into all email as a precaution. ‘Stuart’ now became ever- more elusive and just did not reply to the proliferation of email sent him, protesting that something must be wrong with his filter. Stuart tends to have an answer for every situation however unbelievable those answers appear to be. He certainly didn’t like the fact that I had a witness to our business dealings and on a rare group reply suggested my typesetter would soon get fed up being copied in to email, to which I replied it was only until evidence of the book was produced.
After receiving my money all went quiet for some time but Stuart then turned up out of the blue with apologies and said the book would be at the two wholesalers for October 24th. He even gave me his mobile number so I could contact him directly. He never once answered this phone nor was he available on the original London number although on occasion a young boy would answer to tell me ‘Stuart’ was not available but he would get him to ring me - he never did ring of course.
The catalogue of lies increased daily but I was still disposed to believe the book was being printed as I was being texted progress reports.
I did however by now fear for the quality of the work as ‘Stuart’ had shown scant regard for any of his sales puffs and clearly was telling lies about the turnaround within a week, the printing press he owned in Gravesend, the dedicated hands-on staff, the work done for my typesetter, and the 90 day terms.
I was by now getting even less sleep than normal as every friend I told the story too was convinced I was dealing with a conman and however plausible ‘Stuart’ appeared to be all the signs were there that this man was a complete and utter fantasist, a crook, robber, fraudster call him what you will.
Nothing ever transpired as he said it would and then he became abusive and vague. He started looking for trouble and for reasons to be disruptive. I decided to look into this man a little further as nothing added up. I asked to meet him so I could show him the book but he flatly refused and told me it wasn’t necessary.
On the morning of the 24th I rose from bed at 8 and received a phone call from 'Stuart' to tell me the book was printed but that the binding was incomplete because he thought it was a softback! He said my typesetter must have sent the wrong spec despite the spec clearly stating the book had endpapers and a dust-sheet which are only applied to hardbacks!
At this point I actually cried on the phone, a combination of the deterioration in June’s health and the frustration as my worst nightmares were being realised. All my advance sales were cancelled and now I didn’t know what to do.
At the beginning of proceedings back in May I had informed ‘Stuart’ that this book had sold more than a million copies since its first edition in 2001 and now this man ended our conversation with “Well you’ve sold three million books what’s another few thousand”.
It was a nasty facetious comment that began to unravel the true nature of this man who had previously ingratiated himself to me by appearing to be so concerned about June’s health.
Stuart then gave me four further dates when the book could be booked in to the wholesalers and justified himself by acting as if he was divorced from the actual printing process and didn’t know what was going on although by now I already knew he was a one-man band, a farmer at best, a cold calculated thief at worst.
By now I had got an investigator onto this chap and on November 17th everything came to a head. On the Thursday morning 'Stuart' rang to tell me yet again the book would be delivered “tomorrow” but when I suggested that by now I should be on the second print run he gave the game away by saying “why not increase your order now Trev and I can offer you a much cheaper price” This instantly alerted me to the fact he had never printed any books as otherwise how could he possibly give me the normal quantity discount when the first run was complete?
Later that morning I was sent two articles about this man, one by post and another via email from someone he had also defrauded
I sent the above article to Mr Neil Malcolm Stuart John and as expected he went into liquidation that same day.
Over the course of the next week his case was escalated four times and landed in the lap of the Official Receiver in Manchester.
Clair Rosina Hunnisett and Neil Malcolm Stuart John are in fact partners in crime and partners in life. They usually steal fairly small amounts in the knowledge that victims would be dissuaded from suing as the costs are prohibitive.
Unfortunately on the same day that the truth was outed my June had a suspected stroke and was admitted to East Surrey Hospital and also diagnosed with a sepsis and urinary infection.
As I explained in my previous blog June no longer has any cognitive ability whatsoever and I was informed within days that she would never be able to come home again.
June is still in East Surrey today, Christmas Day – awaiting placement in a nursing home.
Today I lifted her onto a commode as her diverticulosis meant she was having one of her bouts of extreme diarrhoea. I was covered in faeces and whilst I was washing my hands and talking to a cycling friend of mine whose mother happens to be in the same bay as June, calamity struck as an almighty scream and crash could be heard as June fell off the commode and into some nearby chairs and table.
So that was June’s Christmas, no turkey for her, in fact she couldn’t even manage any puree food and all I could feed her was a little soft ice cream as she was able to suck it up between her teeth.
Quite ironic I thought whilst I looked at the distressed face of this angelic soul who is universally loved by all and sundry. Tears flowed for most of the rest of the day and my mind wandered to Clair Rosina Hunnisett and Neil Malcolm Stuart John and I imagined them tucking into their roast turkey oblivious to the dreams and aspirations of so many people, including children, they have shattered by their greed.
The couple have had three months to return my money but I have heard nothing from them or their solicitors Tonner Johns Ratti although I wrote to Jemma at Tonner some weeks ago. But……..
The mechanism has already started and I promise this couple will get their just desserts.
I’d like to thank all my friends from so many walks of life who have offered advice and more in many cases. I am fortunate to have met a lot of influential and able people through my career dealings from top policemen and security agents to trained soldiers and elite fighting sportsmen.
Although I am grateful to all those friends who have offered very real help in some very colourful and expressive ways I have declined all such offers in the belief that this couple will eventually see the light and repent their sins and return my money in full and perhaps also pay my costs.
Before criminal proceedings it is important to have my money returned - I need it for June’s ongoing health needs – and I have started the process.
By the way, the article is just the tip of the iceberg. Victims have contacted me on a regular basis and all the while the evidence is growing and it is not just the fraudulent use of the cloak of limited liability, in my case it is actual robbery plain and simple with no intent to give me any consideration for my money.
Because of their wrongdoing this couple are likely to be liable in a civil action above their £1 shareholding but also criminally as there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that my books were ever printed or likely to be printed. It was just theft. It would be quite wrong of me to second guess the outcome of proceedings but suffice to say I have experts on my side and am very confident this couple will see the light eventually.
Out of interest, their modus operandi is to satisfy very small orders such as guide books and pamphlets but not on their own press in Gravesend as they tell you because they do not own a press in Gravesend, and all they do is take the money in and try to farm the work out to the cheapest bidder usually in eastern Europe.
So they are not printers at all. You or I could do the same thing but farming is a scurrilous way to make money even if done ethically if that is not an oxymoron.
So basically they take your money and then try to arrange a print for you and cream the money off the top. They lie by telling you they can produce in a week but as they do not have a press they haven’t a clue when they can produce. On large orders such as mine they just don’t bother as it is far easier to go into liquidation and then open up under another name the following day. They were in liquidation from another company whilst dealing with me which is why their company details disappeared from my search engines.
It is quite a well-oiled machine and my investigator has discovered the authorities have been trying to nail this couple for 26 years would you believe.
On one occasion when Jemma from Tonner Johns Ratti emailed me she suggested her client had not given me a date for book production and on that fateful Thursday morning initially offered to produce the books, or part order of a thousand, by December 5th. What happened!
What Jemma should know is that I was already expecting this email as most of the victims receive the same email and usually a follow-up one where the couple offer to pay back the money in instalments but invariably do not keep to this arrangement.
In the meantime my investigator traced the bank and the address of Mr John and has been keeping him under surveillance in case he tries to skip the country as even fantasists realise when reality beckons.
At one point I almost got my money bank via Barclays but perversely I am glad I didn’t as I want this couple stopped for good and feel it is my duty.
Apparently Clair Rosina Hunnisett and Neil Malcolm Stuart John aka as Stuart when he is robbing people at the behest of Clair, are pillars of the community on Barry Island and have put it round the island that their son is a Premiership footballer!
Neil rarely goes out although Clair was happy to take in my written request for the return of the money they stole from me although she has not had the good grace to reply to me.
Perhaps she thinks I will just write the money off that I took years to save.
Isn’t it strange though that I requested to be placed on the creditor’s list although we all know I am not owed a business debt at all. My money was hardly cleared when I sussed them out and you would think they would have shown a glimmer of human decency and paid me back as it is not as if they have spent the money on anything. Shows a certain criminal intent that does themselves no favours methinks.
Yes as some of my friends guessed they do not have a post box at their home at 4, Pioden For, Barry Island, Barry, South Glamorgan CF62 5DD as you can imagine in their line of business with an ever-increasing number of irate victims in tow it would only be a matter of time before someone inflamed the situation – literally.
I wanted to give these people three months to repay me because as a Christian I feel honour-bound to appeal to their better natures before deciding on a more decisive course of action.
Time is running out for Clair Rosina Hunnisett and Neil Malcolm Stuart John aka as Stuart and all I can do is pray that they face up to the fact that they have stolen a considerable amount of money from me and really need to pay back the money now to mitigate matters for themselves.
Incidentally, my faith in British printers was restored when I contacted an old friend at Orion who put me in touch with the Glasgow-based Bell & Bain.
I have to say that Derek and his crew have been magnificent and despite it being the busiest time of year managed to produce my doubled order in double quick time to ensure I salvaged something of my usual Christmas market. The print quality is exceptional and gentleman that he is Derek even insisted on me sending him a signed copy as he is such a fan of the book - fabulous, what a contrast to what I've been used to.