A ROGUE trader who 'coerced' a homeowner into buying incorrectly labelled fish has been ordered to pay compensation.

In November 2015, Francis Gary Damsell cold-called a property in Crazies Hill, selling fish from his van.

However, the home owner who bought 20 pieces for £196 later complained to trading standards, that she had felt 'coerced' into buying fish from Damsell.

She said she was not happy to buy that quantity, so reported the incident.

On March 31 this year, at Reading Magistrates Court, Francis Gary Damsell, 48, of Gibside in Chester Le Street, County Durham, pleaded guilty to three offences of selling fish which had been given false descriptions of their species.

During their investigations, trading standards submitted the fish for DNA testing, which confirmed they were not the species referred to on their labels.

Coley was labelled as halibut, river cobbler as turbot, and an unknown breed of fish labelled as bass.

These are offences contrary to Section 14 of the Food Safety Act 1990.

Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, Wokingham Borough Council’s executive member for resident services, said: "This is yet another example of the pressure put upon residents by some doorstep sellers. In this case, the goods were clearly misrepresented and not one but all three types of fish descriptions turned out to be false.

"This case should send a message to anyone considering misleading consumers in this way that it will not be tolerated.

"If anyone wished to report unfair trading they should contact trading standards using the Citizens Advice Consumer Line on 03454 040 506."

The trading standards service is part of the public protection partnership which is a shared service delivering environmental health, trading standards and licensing services for Wokingham Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Borough Council and West Berkshire Council.

Damsell was therefore sentenced to a 12-month community order with 200 hours unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £196 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and costs of £2,723.