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-Meet the sheriffs.
-Let's go and introduce ourselves.
Got a High Court writ to attend here today.
If it's not payable, we'll be removing the stock.
-Their job is to get you your money back.
-It's about to get physical.
It's an arrestable offence to stop me doing my job.
If you've been ripped off and don't know where to turn...
We need to deal with it now.
We're going to remove vehicles to that value.
If you're acting on his authority, pay it.
..if you've been to court but still not been paid what you're owed...
Are you going to open this building,
or am I going to force entry into it?
You need to pay this.
..it's time to call the sheriffs.
Don't put your hands on me. I'm going to call a locksmith,
effect entry into the premises and remove all the items.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
They're enforcement agents of the High Court
and the law says they're on your side.
..collected 42 grand.
pregnant beauty therapist Victoria Lille was unfairly dismissed
from the salon where she worked.
He fired me because I was pregnant.
Sheriffs Darryl and Craig confront her former boss.
-Don't touch the camera.
-It'll be assault if you touch me again.
Can they get Victoria the £27,000 she's owed?
Sue Bodkin's car broke down after just a few days.
When sheriffs Lawrence and Kev visit the garage she bought it from...
I'm going to call in the trucks and start emptying the place now.
..they're forced to take things to the next level.
-Bring that back.
-Lawrence, is this one going?
-This one's going. Sorry, mate.
And the sheriffs' attempts to clear a big debt from a Coventry store...
It'd be everything out the shop.
..do not go to plan.
No, it's being removed.
Will the sheriffs be able to do their job?
I need police assistance. I'm executing a High Court writ.
It's about to get physical, basically.
It's the start of a new working day in the West Midlands.
Enforcement agents Darryl Oreton and Craig Wild are on the road,
on their way to their latest head-to-head with a debtor.
Just coming in to Sutton Coldfield now,
going to a company called Urban Glow.
But they're not on their way to their usual sort of destination.
They're about to visit... a beauty salon.
It's an employment tribunal.
Owing just over £31,000, so it's a huge amount we're going to collect.
High Court enforcement agents, commonly known as sheriffs,
know one thing -
debtors rarely like being asked to pay up.
Darryl and Craig have no idea how the salon owner will react
to being asked to pay such a massive amount.
This is the woman the sheriffs are trying to help, Victoria Lille,
a trained beautician and new mum from Rushall, Walsall.
Victoria's ordeal started a year before son Kai was born.
She saw a beauty therapist job advertised
at Urban Glow in Boldmere, run by Robin Hampton-Cornforth.
Being passionate about beauty and make-up,
she seized the opportunity and got the job.
I was working from nine o'clock in the morning
sometimes till nine o'clock at night and within two weeks he'd promoted me
to salon manager, cos he said he was that impressed with my work
and how I interacted with the clients, and I was over the moon.
Four months later, Victoria and her fiance Chris
discovered she was ten weeks pregnant.
She told Mr Hampton-Cornforth.
Initially, he was pleased and congratulated her on the good news,
but only four days later, he dismissed her.
It completely tore me apart.
I just didn't know what we were going to do.
What made it worse was the manner in which she was dismissed.
Instead of telling Victoria face to face,
Mr Hampton-Cornforth told Victoria's mum instead,
who was working part-time as the salon's receptionist.
In a text message,
he said, "Can't keep her, she's pregnant, LOL.
It's quite obvious why he fired me - because I was pregnant.
The stress of the situation led Victoria into depression.
I found it hard to get out of bed, I was that low and that down.
My partner would come home from work and I'd be in tears every day.
Victoria started having problems with her pregnancy.
I was admitted to hospital on two occasions
because I was in early labour, which they managed to stop,
but they said it was due to all the stress.
Luckily, Victoria had the support of her family
and, with her father's help,
she found strength to take her former boss to court.
Mr Hampton-Cornforth didn't appear in court to contest the case.
Here we go.
The judge found that Mr Hampton-Cornforth's behaviour
had led to Victoria's stress and that he dismissed her
because she was pregnant.
Her former boss was ordered to pay her
over £27,000 for loss of wages, stress and discrimination.
Despite the court order,
Mr Hampton-Cornforth still hasn't paid her the money.
She's left with only one option.
I don't know what to do, so the sheriffs are our only option, really,
our last resort.
It's now up to the sheriffs to get Victoria and baby Kai
the money they're owed.
Darryl and Craig have arrived at Urban Glow in Sutton Coldfield
with the massive task of recovering a debt that with interest and costs
is now £31,000.
Hello. Oh, sorry.
Is the manager about at all?
Yeah, if your boss is here. Thank you.
-Is that him?
Victoria's former boss, Robin Hampton-Cornforth,
is soon on the line.
They've actually sent us out to execute a High Court writ today.
It's an employment tribunal case.
He asks Craig to go into the back of the shop
so he doesn't disturb the customers.
Then he asks the sheriffs to leave altogether.
We can't go outside the shop, sir.
We're authorised to execute the High Court writ whilst we're here.
Well, I can, sir.
Quite simply, I've got a court order to execute whilst I'm here.
No problem, I'll wait for your call.
While they wait for Mr Hampton-Cornforth,
Darryl realises they've got a problem.
The debt is £31,000,
but even though there are some fairly valuable sunbeds,
the assets in the shop are worth nothing like that amount.
Just then, the owner arrives.
Hello, do you want to leave?
-You going to leave?
-We can discuss it...
-There's no discussing it.
This has gone to a tribunal case. It's been referred by the judge.
Right. At the moment, we've got a live writ.
Well, as far as I'm aware...
-As far as you might be aware, that may be...
-What are you filming for?
I don't want you to film me.
Mr Hampton-Cornforth strongly objects to our presence.
Don't touch the camera, sir.
-It'll be assault if you touch me again.
-You can ask me to leave and I'll leave...
-I don't want...
We can dis...
-He's just told you he will leave.
-It's still running...
So let him leave.
With us gone, he then tells Darryl and Craig
that he's appealing the judgment,
so doesn't think that the sheriffs should be there either.
Craig points out that an appeal does not prevent his right
to enforce the writ today.
Despite this, Mr Hampton-Cornforth still refuses to pay up.
Bit of a brick wall at the moment.
They've not tried to raise any money,
made no attempt to raise any money, just keeps saying they ain't got it,
they've got 300 quid,
and they're still on the phone to the solicitor's.
Craig's just looking at removing the sunbeds
when Mr Hampton-Cornforth's wife arrives.
She says the sunbeds don't belong to the company
and therefore can't be removed.
Without them to pay off the debt,
the sheriffs would have to clear everything else out of the salon.
Rather than see the business effectively closed,
the couple finally start to look for funds
and come up with a payment proposal.
We've got a part-payment today of £3,000
with a further £2,000 being paid tomorrow.
That's not bad, start chipping away at it.
A good result to get that amount of money off a liability of this size.
It may not be the full amount,
but £5,000 in the sheriffs' bank
is worth more than all of the salon's assets sold at auction.
After all of Mr Hampton-Cornforth's protesting,
he never went back to court to appeal against the judgment.
Instead, he has agreed to pay Victoria £250 a month
until the outstanding balance is cleared.
We've got this little one and we've got the great news
that what the sheriffs have done, so we're so happy now.
Mr Hampton-Cornforth disputes Victoria Lille's version of events,
..saying he believed another ex-employee had used his phone
to make the text.
He says she only worked for him for two and a half months,
There have been sheriffs since Saxon times.
Today their job is to enforce High Court writs.
I'm here with a court order to collect the sum of £34,311.
If you've been awarded money by a court but haven't been paid,
the sheriffs can enforce a writ and get you what you're owed.
It hasn't been paid,
so he's transferred it up to the High Court for enforcement purposes.
And if the debtor won't pay, sheriffs have the power
to remove goods and have them sold at auction to pay off the debt.
Are you going to pay in full, sir?
Right, I'll get the crowbar out of my van.
A High Court writ costs £60.
If the sheriffs are successful,
there's nothing more for the clients to pay.
There's 6,900 there.
Paid it straightaway, so it's all good.
If they're unsuccessful,
the only cost is a compliance fee of £75 plus VAT for each enforcement.
Sheriffs Lawrence Grix and Kevin McNally
are heading down to the seaside.
We're heading down to Hastings, down the A21.
Is that where Harold got one through the eye?
It's quarter past eight in the morning,
we're going to Hughenden Road Garage Ltd.
They're on their way to help professional puppeteer Sue Bodkin.
And he's called Pirate Pete.
SINGING: My name is Pirate Pete...
She's been entertaining children and adults
with her puppet performances for more than 15 years.
IN WARBLY VOICE: Oh, that's nice!
Thank you, you've got very kind children.
Sometimes she uses an innovative portable booth.
The way my booth's made, I disappear,
so they really can create a world of wonder for them
and they think it's much more real than it actually is.
Sue planned to offer more ambitious puppet shows,
but for that, she would need transport.
Before, I'd just been using my small, little booth
which I could take on a bus or walk about in
and I thought, "It's about time I make a bigger show
"and have someone help me."
I thought, "Well, I've only got a small car,
"so I need to get a larger vehicle,"
but I actually live on very little money
and I'm on working tax credit, so it can be a bit of a struggle.
Looking round for a vehicle that would fit the bill,
she happened to pass local dealers Hughenden Road Garage
when she spotted a bright yellow van.
He took me out, the garage owner, Philip,
and it seemed OK
and it wasn't too expensive.
Loving the van, she paid £400 in cash for it
and traded in her old car,
making a total of £750 for the van,
a big investment on a small budget.
She took it home,
but just days later, she ran into problems.
I tried to start the van and it wouldn't start
and I noticed the warning light was on
and I thought, "Oh, no!"
Sue got the van restarted,
but she continued to have problems with the engine cutting out.
I began to get more and more concerned,
because as I was driving about,
the van would suddenly cut out
and then I'd be stuck on a roundabout or up a hill
and I felt quite scared in that position.
Sue asked Hughenden to fix the van
and was told the problem was an air filter.
She paid £40 to fix this and drove it away,
but the problems continued.
She decided to get another garage to check it out
and they said the issue was the engine control unit, or ECU.
Armed with this knowledge, she went back to Hughenden
to demand they fix the problem once and for all.
Basically, he said that he could fix it for me,
but it would be another £450,
and I said, "But if this was a problem,
"surely you should be fixing it,
"because I bought it from you and it was only a little while ago."
If the car wasn't fit for purpose,
consumer law means Sue had the right to have it fixed or get a refund.
She wrote to Hughenden, insisting they fix the faulty van,
but she was ignored.
Sue's plans to expand her business had to be put on hold.
And then I was left without a van and I was devastated,
because I had no way of doing my work
and I had no vehicle to get about.
Sue was left with no alternative but to take the garage to court.
Hughenden didn't attend the hearing
and a judgment was issued in Sue's favour.
The garage then applied to have this set aside,
but their appeal was thrown out.
But despite the court awarding Sue £890, she's still not been paid.
Her only hope of seeing her money now rests with the sheriffs.
Lawrence and Kev have arrived at Hughenden Road Garage
in pursuit of Sue's money.
The garage is full of equipment the sheriffs could remove
if need be, to clear the debt,
but the one thing missing is the boss.
A few minutes later, one of the mechanics gets him on the phone.
Hello there, sir.
The garage owner tells Lawrence that he's aware of the debt
but claims he doesn't have to pay it,
but Lawrence knows otherwise.
The court ordered you to pay, didn't it, sir?
Well, yes, it did.
The owner says he'd agreed Sue would return the faulty vehicle to him,
but as she hasn't, she won't pay.
This is something Sue Bodkin strongly disputes.
That's not what we're here to sort out today.
We have writ here ordering us to clear this debt.
You need to sort this out today...
..or we will strip this garage bare.
Faced with the alternative, the owner agrees to come down.
OK? Cheers, bye-bye.
If the owner doesn't pay, gear will be removed,
and in a workshop full of tools and equipment,
there's plenty of choice.
There's well enough equipment to warrant removing it if need be.
Hopefully it won't come to that.
Then Kev spots something that chills even a seasoned sheriff.
Freddy Krueger in the corner.
Not sure we'll be taking him.
Probably quite collectable, cos he's quite realistic.
At a collectors' auction, he'd probably go down quite well.
I'll list Freddy Krueger down, just in case.
Lawrence and Kev have already been at the garage over 40 minutes
when the owner, Mr Choronik,
the man who sold Sue her yellow van, arrives.
Lawrence loses no time in setting out the situation.
The bottom line is Ms Bodkin got judgment against you
and with all the additional court costs and our fees, it's £1,857.90,
which needs to be paid today.
If you want to pay us in full, that will prevent further action today.
I can't pay, because I need time to sort this out.
If you're telling me that you can't pay it,
then I'm going to call in the trucks and start emptying the place now.
But the garage owner believes none of the goods can be removed.
I can assure you that everything here is personal tools
and the rest of it's all on finance anyway,
and I've got proof of all financing
and you know you can't remove financed stuff.
Do you want to get your finance paperwork?
-I've got all my finance paperwork.
-Show us that.
I can do, yes.
You can't tell us things, you need to prove things.
The owner phones for advice.
-You want me to go?
-On your way.
At this point, our camera is asked to stay outside.
The owner says he can't afford to pay.
The guy's just been on the phone to the bank
to see if he can get his credit card limit up.
Two and a half hours after the sheriffs walked into the garage,
a business advisor arrives at the request of the garage owner.
He gets the owner to produce paperwork
showing much of the kit in the garage is on finance
and can't be removed.
But having counted up the agreements,
Lawrence believes one of the diagnostic machines
is not on finance and is therefore available for them to take.
Kev's keen to get the machine into the van as quickly as possible.
-It's left the premises.
That is on finance. Bring that back.
You haven't shown me the agreement.
We're just sorting it now.
My colleague's just said... Hold up, wait there.
My colleague's just said bring this out. Lawrence?
-On my way.
-This one going?
This one's going. Sorry, mate.
We've looked at all...
We're trying to sort it out.
We've looked at all the agreements and it isn't on there.
So we've just got a bit of diagnostics kit here.
Generally quite expensive.
We'll continue to go through the list,
see what other stuff they've got.
Hopefully, they'll be some other stuff we can remove as well,
-get in the van.
-With only one diagnostic machine,
Kev and Lawrence are keen to take some smaller items,
so that their value at auction covers the debt owed to Sue.
These are skates.
Put them under the wheels of a car.
It's a multifunction fuel pressure tester.
Timing tool kit for a Renault.
It appears Freddy's coming with us for today.
I might put him in the front instead of Lawrence.
He'd be more use, wouldn't he?
He'd be a lot more interesting to talk to.
As the sheriffs set about removing goods,
the owner wants to give us his side of the story.
Bearing in mind this was a year ago
and she's had this van for all this time,
she only tells me out of court afterwards
that she's got rid of the van, so I just walked off and said,
"Well, get me the van and I'll give you the £750 back,"
not knowing that I probably had to go back into the court at the time
to actually understand, to say to the judge that,
but I didn't. I just thought it was game over, finished, you know?
I haven't got the van back and I've just been given a load of grief.
But the court didn't order Sue to return the van,
and on legal advice, she disposed of it.
With his equipment disappearing out of the door,
and after more than four hours of the sheriffs at his garage,
the owner, Philip Choronik, realises Lawrence and Kev won't be put off.
He accepts he must make some attempt to pay
and agrees to find £2,000 of the money owed now,
with an agreement for the rest to be paid later.
The money will be paid on a card by the owner's wife.
To make it as quick as possible,
the sheriffs, the owner and the goods
are all on their way to meet her.
So we're off to Eastbourne.
It's basically to save the effort of the debtor going there and back.
We're following him there, we'll take the payment from them there,
and then we'll make our way from there.
But arriving in Eastbourne, disaster strikes.
The card machine isn't working.
I've literally just turned it on
and it's coming up, "Return terminal to base station."
Lawrence thinks the problem lies with the phone mast in Eastbourne.
He suggests they all hit the road again in search of a better signal.
What are we going to do if you're not getting a signal?
-I don't know.
-But it becomes clear the problem is the machine
and it isn't going to be fixed, so they all pull over.
What I propose we do is we go our separate ways,
you make your payment
by whatever method and then we'll bring your stuff back.
It's our fault the damn machine isn't working,
so I'll put myself out now to sort it out, yeah?
Lawrence and Kev drive the goods away.
It's not been a great end to the day.
That's as bad as it could get.
Nightmare On Elm Street? Nightmare in Hastings!
Nightmare in Hastings.
All in all, really, we were about eight hours
and didn't manage to secure a payment,
so we've still got the goods in the vehicle.
Freddy has got to stay with us overnight tonight
and I'll be returning him in the morning.
Is that the oddest thing we've taken?
Erm...it's got to be getting there, hasn't it?
But the nightmare had a happy ending -
some days later, the garage entered into a payment plan
and puppeteer Sue Bodkin finally got the money
that is rightfully hers in full.
It shows that if you are struggling and someone takes you for a ride,
that if you find the courage, you can go forward
and fight for your rights and get people made accountable.
It's a misty morning as enforcement agents Craig Wild and Tom Coyle
pilot their van through the early-morning commuters.
We're on our way to Coventry today.
It's nice and bright, as you can see.
Attention to detail is part of the sheriff's mantra
and for former Royal Marine Tom,
that starts with preparation for the day ahead.
I've had my muesli and at the minute I'm into mocha.
Today's case involves a substantial debt they're hoping to recover
from a local convenience store.
The debt's £21,836.81.
Fingers crossed it's a shop and we can walk straight in.
The early opening of the store is convenient for the local community
and sheriffs alike.
Hello, there, sir. Is a Mr Krishnakumar available?
He's not? Could you get him on the phone for me?
We're here with a High Court writ today to execute.
The man behind the counter says he's just a friend
helping out the shop owner.
While he tries to get the boss on the phone,
the sheriffs start to list the extensive stock
which they can auction to pay off the debt
if no payment's forthcoming.
There's a lot of stuff here.
Craig has spotted the liquor licence on display
and the man named on their writ is on it.
He's the licensee.
Do you want to try him again, sir,
cos we're getting to a point where we might have to start carrying on.
The man's back on the phone and the news isn't good.
He says the man on the writ now has nothing to do with the business
because it has changed hands,
but the sheriffs have seen evidence to the contrary.
We've already seen his name on one of the...
He's not the license holder here, but he's the nominated advisor here.
He's already interlinked here with the business,
so we need someone to come down here
and we need to see a lot of documentation to prove otherwise.
He's coming down.
Not long after, two people arrive.
The woman says the business used to be run by her brother-in-law,
the man on the writ,
but now she and her husband run it.
The other man is here to support her.
They say the debtor now has nothing to do with the business.
At the moment,
we think he may have something to do with the business still here,
cos we have noticed his name is up on one of the documents up there.
The woman, who says she runs the business,
has brought some paperwork to prove it.
What's this you've got here?
The documents show the lease and business rates
are indeed paid by the woman,
but the owners still haven't shown Tom evidence
of who owns the stock in the shop.
I don't know what to suggest. Without seeing conclusive proof,
they're going to want us to remove them.
Cos it's such a large debt, without nothing being paid today,
it'd be everything out the shop.
Shifting everything is going to be a massive task.
They're going to look at removing.
While Craig gets on to the office to talk trucks,
Tom tries to convince the people who say they own the shop
that it would be better to pay.
The only way to relieve the situation at the moment
is getting some payment made.
Then Craig finds a crucial piece of paperwork.
-Is our man.
-Is our man?
The invoice is paid.
-When was that?
-Let's have a look at that.
Well, that changes things considerably, doesn't it?
There's invoices my colleague's just found, 4th December,
which have been paid by Krishnakumar,
which is our defendant here.
So you're still using the defendant's name here?
All them goods are going to be removed unless money's paid.
There's no more discussing it now - it needs to be paid.
We've got proof that the goods here belong to our defendant.
The owners say they were just using an account in the defendant's name,
but paid for it themselves,
but an invoice in Krishnakumar's name covering a substantial chunk
of the shop's stock is enough for Tom.
Yeah, it's bang to rights, to be honest.
We're digging more and more paperwork out now
with our man's name all over it.
Speak to you in a bit.
Right, that was my manager on the phone.
He wants us to start stacking everything up,
getting it ready to be removed.
The owners have called in their solicitor, Mr Khan,
so Tom explains the situation.
They said he's nothing to do with this company whatsoever.
We found evidence on the contrary,
which is invoices for all the stock in the gentleman's name,
listing everything throughout the shop.
I've obviously given them
the offer of making payment today for this High Court order.
If it's not paid, we're going to be removing the stock.
-Let me speak to my client.
-By all means, by all means, sir.
-And I'll talk to you.
With a lot of stock to get into the truck,
Tom starts stacking the alcohol for removal.
Is there any boxes out the back, Craig?
No, it's being removed.
It's not whether you'll let us. We're here to remove it.
So we're going to need the police, basically, cos you're stopping us?
Craig, do you want to ring the police?
This gentleman's stopping me doing my job.
I thought you were just a friend, anyway.
Just a friend, but you seem a bit more involved to be this upset.
He's going to get arrested cos he's going to stop me
-doing what I'm trying to do.
-If you want your client...
I'm going to need to, otherwise I'm going to have to push past him.
This enforcement has taken an unexpected turn.
Hello, there. I need police assistance at a shop.
I'm executing a High Court writ.
It's about to get physical, basically.
They're stopping me doing my job.
With Tom physically prevented from seizing the stock
and the police on the way,
when we return to Coventry,
we'll see if the forces of law and order
will allow the sheriffs to do their job.
It's 6:30am and High Court enforcement agents
Lawrence and Kev are on the road.
They're in Hayling Island, near Portsmouth,
on their way to meet a man of many names.
We've got a defendant by the name of Mr Joseph White.
The sheriffs have visited the address before
but the man living there claimed not to be Joseph White
but Joseph McVey.
What's more, vehicles there belong to a Joseph Mayday.
Lawrence, however, believes all these Josephs
are one and the same person
and intends to prove it, so he can enforce the writ.
He's given us the runaround a bit
but hopefully, today, we've got sufficient paperwork with us
and sufficient evidence to shut the man up, basically.
The total due is £28,605.32.
Lawrence and Kev are visiting on behalf of two former tenants
who have been awarded substantial sums by the court
after falling into dispute with landlord, Joseph White,
over their tenancy deposit.
Arriving at the sizable premises, it's looking hopeful
there'll be assets on site, in case they need to be removed
to cover the debt.
It gives Lawrence plenty of time to list vehicles
to remove, if it comes to it.
There's a noise there.
There's definitely someone in.
Finally, they manage to raise someone from inside the house.
Hello there, sir.
We're looking for a Joseph White, AKA Joseph McVey,
formerly known as Joseph Mayday.
-Would that be yourself, sir?
Joseph White, AKA Joseph McVey, formerly known as Joseph Mayday.
I can recognise him from the photo.
At this point our cameraman is asked to leave.
The man says he is Joseph McVey.
You were formerly Joseph Mayday, is that correct?
Did you change your name by deed poll, did you?
Mr McVey confirms he was known as Joseph Mayday
but denies he has ever been known as Joseph White.
This is a problem for Lawrence, as Joseph White
is the name on his writ.
Lawrence is convinced Mr McVey is Mr White but he has to prove it.
Yeah, it's you, sir.
We're here today to seize goods to the value of £28,605.32.
The man says he knows nothing about the case
and continues to insist he's not Mr White.
Right, who owns the Nissan Navara?
Lawrence threatens to remove the car.
Mr McVey says he can't, because it belongs to his son.
If your son doesn't live here, why does he leave all his vehicles here?
Where's your vehicle?
These are your vehicles, aren't they?
They're registered in your son's name.
We require proof otherwise, sir.
He needs to come down with proof of ownership, sir,
or we are going to remove them. OK?
Mr McVey goes inside to contact his son.
Meanwhile, Lawrence and Kev have found something interesting
in the paperwork.
-Who does a J like that?
Comparing two signatures, Lawrence believes the distinctive Js
are a dead giveaway that they're signed by one person.
He believes he's got his man.
If you look at that J, that is you, sir.
There is the J, you have signed that.
Yes, you have, sir.
Signed on that piece of paperwork.
You are also known as Joseph White.
That's quite an unmistakable J.
Even faced with Lawrence's evidence, Mr McVey insists he is not Mr White,
but Lawrence is convinced.
You are known as Joseph White.
Yes, you are, sir.
We can enforce against an alias.
If you're the person, you can call yourself Basil Brush.
If you're the person known as Basil Brush,
then we can enforce against you, or Basil Brush.
With negotiations going nowhere, Kev decides to step things up.
Determined to get the former tenants the money they're owed,
he heads to the van to get the clamp for the Navara.
Meanwhile, and much to his surprise...
Oh, he's gone in.
..Lawrence is invited into the house.
Perhaps Mr McVey doesn't realise that once inside,
Lawrence can get listing assets and not even the police can remove him.
I'm surprise he's been invited in, to be fair.
Inside, Lawrence says if needs be, he'll take assets out of the house.
This is not what the man expected when he invited Lawrence in.
He begins to take exception to Lawrence's presence.
With the temperature rising inside, Kev goes to help.
As Lawrence has gained peaceful entry,
he's legally allowed to invite Kev in as well,
to assist with removal.
Come in, mate.
Don't put your hands on me!
Don't you lock him in here and don't put your hands on me.
Don't put your hands on me!
With things turning nasty, the police are called.
Lawrence continues to investigate removing one of the cars.
His tactics have an immediate effect.
Despite continuing to insist he's not the debtor, Mr White,
Mr McVey agrees to pay off some of the debt.
£7,000 of the 28,000 owed.
With matters reaching a conclusion for today,
the police car is cancelled.
Kev removes the clamp and, with a part payment, it's over for today.
Lawrence's canny detective work and tenacious arguing
has got a positive result for the former tenants.
As far as I'm concerned, that was a result
because there is not a lot of evidence
that Joseph McVey is, or was, Joseph White.
I'm pretty sure he is and the fact that he volunteered to pay some money
sort of implies that.
That will keep the wolf from the door for the time being,
and he can take whatever legal action he needs to take
and, obviously, we'll go by whatever the court says.
After we filmed, Joseph White, AKA Joseph McVey,
applied to have the judgment against him set aside.
He and his former tenants attended court,
where they agreed to the set aside
on acceptance of the £7,000 in full and final settlement.
In Coventry, the sheriffs are trying to settle a debt of over 21,000,
owed by a convenience store.
But Tom has been physically prevented from removing the stock
and the police have been called.
There's about £2,000 worth of this stock in invoices
-in the name of our defendant. That's what we're here to remove today.
If they don't want to make payment...
Obviously, there's been a bit of an issue with me
getting stopped doing that, hence we called you,
just, obviously, to stop a breach of the peace.
But the owners' solicitor has been looking at the sheriffs' writ
and he's spotted a problem.
We've got a sealed copy in the office.
I'll speak to the office for you now.
It's not a defective notice.
Tom asks the office to send over a copy of the original,
sealed, dated writ.
Meanwhile, the shop has found evidence that some goods
were paid for by the new owners.
It means not everything can be removed
and Tom is stacking the stock the sheriffs can take away.
Plenty of Weetabix there.
Er, it's going to be all the cereals, more or less, are on this list.
It'll be more or less all this aisle.
More or less, the next, of what I can see.
Most of the bars down here.
It is quite a lot of stock, actually, when you work it out.
Another copy of the High Court writ has been e-mailed over
but it's still not right.
That's what's just been sent to me. There's the High Court claim number.
It will be sealed, sir.
You're trying to tell me I've gone to the effort
of making that up myself?
Can you honestly say that?
Our office will have the sealed copy.
I'll ring them up again.
Ten minutes later, the sealed writ appears.
He's happy with that.
And the enforcement is back on.
Tom needs to remove more high value goods
to have any chance of clearing the debt.
Next on his list are the cigarettes,
but the man supporting the new shop owner
has other ideas.
Excuse me. Don't start obstructing me.
-You can have...
-The cigarettes are going.
Let me have a word with him. Get away, Tom.
The police have seen enough.
You're under arrest.
You don't have to say anything but it may harm your defence
if you do not mention when questioned something which
you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.
You're under arrest for obstructing an enforcement officer
-in the execution of their duty. Do you understand?
This is not how the sheriffs wanted it to go
but being an enforcement agent gives them powers and protection
under the law and that's why the man has been arrested.
Back in the shop,
the turn of events has visibly upset the woman who runs the business.
She starts phoning round to try to raise some money.
Knowing they are unlikely to get a full payment today,
the sheriffs are prepared to take a part payment
and list goods on paper until a payment plan is put in place.
It has to be three and a half.
We can't, sir. Time is money, you see.
The owner's friend, who tried to prevent the sheriffs
doing their job, is taken away by police.
Meanwhile, Craig is beginning to believe the case will soon be over.
I'm bringing my trusty friend with me
so hopefully the payment will be made.
The shop owner is waiting
for someone to pay money into her account.
She signs an official agreement with Tom and Craig
which leaves the stock in the shop
but hands ownership to the court until she either proves
it belongs to her or agrees to pay the remainder of the debt.
Right, we'll just wait for this payment.
Once the payment's received,
I'll give you copies of all your paperwork.
Enter your PIN. Enter your PIN and press the green button, please.
The money will be held by the sheriffs,
giving her a chance to prove she owns the stock.
And, with that, the sheriffs and police call it a day.
They've secured part of the payment and expect the rest to follow.
It was quite a good result, apart from one gentleman had to be
removed by the police and actually arrested,
which we never want to see happen, but he was stopping me
doing my job, physically stopping me,
so the officer intervened and had to arrest him in the end.
Since we filmed, the Crown Prosecution Service
decided not to bring a prosecution
against the man arrested by the police.
The Earlsdon Convenience Store told us the recent invoice
found in the previous store owner's name was a mistake
caused by a wholesaler issuing it in the wrong account name.
They stressed that the current business owner's reticence
to pay the debt was not due to financial difficulties,
but because she disputed that it was she that owed it.
Last series, the sheriffs paid an early-morning call to
Leicestershire dentist John Hammond.
He'd borrowed money from an elderly lady for a business
venture but hadn't paid her back.
We're ordered here by the court today to take goods
to the value of £10,706.66.
With two High Court enforcement agents on his doorstep,
he soon decided to pay up in full.
You might have thought that would be the end of the matter, but it isn't.
The elderly lady isn't the only person owed money by the dentist.
Someone else is -
IT contractor and keen metalworker Andrew Dixon from Leicestershire.
His problems started when he went for a routine check-up
with his dentist of many years, John Hammond.
During the visit,
Mr Hammond started talking about a business plan of his.
He was explaining to me that he
had interests in commercial property, warehouses particularly,
and he was looking for investment of 100,000 and, over time,
we talked about it and it ended up I made an investment of 10,000.
The dentist told Andrew he would earn 10% interest a year
on his loan and would receive the interest in regular instalments.
He always backed it up with an, "Of course,
"I have a dental practice that turns over 200,000 a year so I,
"personally, will guarantee this."
Andrew received two interest payments and was awaiting his
third when Mr Hammond came back to him with another request for money.
He approached me for a short-term loan, 60 days,
and allow him to take up an opportunity of buying shares in
a vehicle which he thought was going to be very productive and rewarding.
I loaned him 35,000, which he said would be useful, for the 60 days.
But after 60 days, the promised full repayment hadn't materialised.
Andrew chased him up.
He said to me he'd forgotten and during the course of that
conversation, he explained that he was struggling to find
the money to repay me and I'd also noticed that there had been
a shortage of interest payments on the original 10,000 loan.
I realised, after various conversations with John,
that this money was not going to be coming back.
Andrew visited a financial adviser, who told him
he was by no means alone in being owed money by Mr Hammond.
When I first saw the paperwork showing the amount that was
owed by John Hammond, I was gobsmacked.
Absolutely floored me.
The amount of John Hammond owes, my understanding is
it's a figure in excess of seven million.
In an attempt to get his money, Andrew took his ex-dentist to court.
Mr Hammond didn't contest the case
and a judgment was issued in Andrew's favour.
But he still hasn't been paid.
It's now up to the sheriffs to try and get his money back.
Heading to Mr Hammond's house, sheriffs Darryl Oreton
and Mark Povey have a good idea what assets might be available to
set against the debt if need be.
We're going to his home address. We know he's got a Jaguar,
which were hoping is going to be on the drive, get that blocked in.
I don't think it's of great value.
Let's hope we can get into his house and put a bit of pressure on
and see if we can get this money raised.
With interest, costs and fees,
Darryl and Mark will now be looking for over £87,000 from Mr Hammond.
There's no sign of the Jaguar and it doesn't seem anyone's home.
But eventually, Darryl's persistence pays off.
Sorry, but I'm not having that.
Right. We're looking for John.
Is he at work? Could you get him on the phone for us?
Mr Hammond's wife tells Darryl her husband has applied for an
individual voluntary arrangement, or IVA - a form of insolvency.
She says it will be agreed within the week
and makes all of his debts unenforceable.
Right, so there's nothing in place at the moment, then?
Could you just get John on the phone for me?
Mrs Hammond goes inside to try and get hold of husband John,
leaving the door open.
Darryl uses his powers as a sheriff and makes peaceful entry.
I just need to wait in here.
Mrs Hammond quickly gets her husband on the phone.
He claims he has an interim bankruptcy order that
protects him from creditors until the IVA is in place.
He's telling me there's no money available.
He's telling me I can't do anything in there
because of this interim order,
which, if it is all above board, then that is correct.
If Mr Hammond can prove the interim order is in place,
the sheriffs will have to stop the enforcement.
But until proof arrives, Darryl isn't giving up.
He lists goods in the house that might be
set against the debt at a later date.
Then he and Mark set off in pursuit of Mr Hammond's Jaguar,
heading for his workplace to see if it's there.
And, arriving at the surgery, there's the Jag.
They list it with a view to removing it later if need be,
and head to reception.
But who's that heading inside?
It's Mr Hammond.
Unfortunately, the dentist has also spotted Darryl and Mark.
KEY TURNS IN LOCK
He's locked us out.
-That's not very nice, is it?
-I've come for my molars to be done.
While Darryl tries the polite way in, Mark checks round the back.
And with the tradesman's entrance unlocked,
he seizes his chance to make his own peaceful entry.
-Has he locked his door?
-I think so.
But where's Mr Hammond?
He doesn't seem keen on talking to the sheriffs.
-Come on, John.
Sorry, I was looking for John.
We'll hang around for a bit and see if he surfaces.
Got his car blocked in.
Darryl's not had a hider like this before.
We've had them walk off. Yeah.
Leave us in the house, tell us to lock the door when we're done,
and do one.
But I've never... We ain't played hide and seek before, have we?
With Mr Hammond refusing to come out,
Darryl makes a call to Lawrence in the office to discuss his next step.
He's done one. He's ran upstairs and hid.
OK, cheers, bye. Bye.
Blocked the car in. But... HE SIGHS
..'04 plate, I'll have a little look on Auto Trader, see what the
value is but it ain't going to be selling at 87 grand, is it?
With Mr Hammond refusing to talk, Darryl and Mark can do nothing else
but join the patients in the waiting room.
After ten minutes, Mr Hammond still doesn't want to show his face but he
sends an employee with the paperwork confirming his interim order.
Has that just come through now, or is it...?
It's a body blow for Darryl and Mark's hopes of getting Andrew back
the money that was rightfully his.
"No other proceedings or no execution or other legal process may be
"commenced or continued against the debtor or his property,
"except with the leave of court."
The order means, for the time being,
no debts can be collected from Mr Hammond.
It's a disappointing end to Darryl and Mark's game of cat and mouse.
The worst news for Andrew Dixon is it looks unlikely he or
any of Mr Hammond's many creditors will ever see their money again.
Although they couldn't get his money,
Andrew is pleased he asked the sheriffs to help.
They've tried their best and it's very pleasing to know they've
been around rattling his doorknob.
In the North West of England,
it's Sheriff Pete Spencer's turn to pay a visit to a debtor
on behalf of an unhappy member of the public
who wants what a court says he's owed.
We're heading up to Tarleton. Looking for over £12,000 today.
The money is owed to the purchaser of a custom converted VW camper van,
bought from a business called Extra Special Vehicles.
When it arrived, the vehicle was anything but extra special,
having numerous faults.
The owner ended up taking the business to court and won.
But he's never been paid what he should have been
so now he's turned to the sheriffs to get his money.
Arriving at the business address, Pete starts looking for the boss.
-You after someone?
-Yeah, Extra Special Vehicles?
-That's me, yeah.
All right, OK. I've got a High Court writ to attend here today.
This is Mr Pendlebury, the owner himself.
-Can you just give us...?
-Yeah, sure, yeah.
We might be half an hour or so with these lads.
-They've just come from...
-That's fine, that's OK, yeah.
Mr Pendlebury wants to attend to some customers
before he talks to Pete,
so Pete gets listing vehicles and then heads inside.
I've got a High Court writ. I'm executing it today
for the full amount and we're going to remove vehicles to that value.
I've got to get these two lads from Holland this morning
so I've got to sort these kids out.
-Have you got any means of payment today?
-I don't know just yet.
-Is there any chance you lads can pop back?
-No. No. I can't come back.
-Where do we go from here, then?
-When I say pop back, I mean today.
-No. We can't do that.
-We'll potentially be looking to remove goods today.
Mr Pendlebury wants to deal with two customers from Holland
but Pete thinks his priorities should be elsewhere.
I'm just going to show them where they make the frames.
I suggest you should really be dealing with this.
If you put them off for 20 minutes and do this, I think,
cos it's more serious.
The owner calls his wife and asks Pete to speak to her about the debt.
She says she's trying to get the judgment set aside
but Pete knows this won't stop his enforcement today.
But since Pete's been on the phone,
the owner has headed off with his two Dutch customers to
look at pop-up roofs for camper vans,
leaving his mobile phone behind.
The now phoneless Mr Pendlebury can't be contacted.
It's looking more likely Pete might have to remove goods
to auction, to clear the debt.
He makes sure one potentially removable asset won't be
making any unexpected journeys.
We're potentially looking at taking this. So we'll just block this in.
We'll wait for the defendant's wife to give us a call back.
Just then, a man turns up, claiming he owns this black van.
He says he's the one who does up the interiors
and he's keen to show off his handiwork.
Look at it. She's mint.
That drops down into a bed and there's a bed up there.
-What's this worth finished, then?
-20 grand, this.
-What, an '07 plate? Right.
-That's what I knock them out at, anyway.
-I've not sold any at that yet.
Even if it fetches nothing like that at auction, the surprisingly
high value of their vans makes them well worth listing.
With no prospect of payment, Pete arranges the tow truck.
-Is he back?
-You're just showing off now, aren't you?
-He's not back, no.
-Is he not?
-He's coming back.
-Is that what he said?
-About an hour ago, yeah.
-He's on his way. Sat in traffic.
-Have you spoke to him?
I've only spoke to his wife.
He's left his mobile here so I can speak to them.
Mr Pendlebury told Pete he'd be away for half an hour.
Finally, over two hours later, he's back.
-Have you brought some money or...?
-No. Right, OK.
Recovery truck's en route so when he arrives in about 40 minutes,
obviously, some vehicles will be going.
Pete's powers of persuasion failed to get her owner to pay so now
he's going to exercise his power to remove goods to clear the debt.
The tow truck arrives.
He's not paid. We're removing one vehicle today, which he said is his.
He's given us the key to the vehicle now, taken some stuff out of it.
And, with the truck loaded for towing,
Pete has done what he can to recover the money.
We've removed one vehicle.
He's now going to have to pay or this particular vehicle will go to
auction to recover the outstanding.
Since we filmed, a stay was granted on the writ
and the camper van was returned to Extra Special Vehicles.
However, a substantial part payment has now been made to the customer.