A fraudster has denied he is responsible for a £5,000 bill for funeral home signs.

Mark Kerbey, 55, of Station Road, Westcliff, claims the debt is not his to pay after being chased for payment for more than a year.

Rachel Kay, of Kaydor Signs, a company based in Derbyshire, claims she delivered several signs for Trinity Funeral Home, in Station Road, Westcliff, as well as branding for vehicles but that the company has yet to pay for the goods.

She claims Kerbey, is refusing to pay the debt of £5,000 despite ordering the items, signing for the delivery of the goods and continuing to use the signs Kaydor made for them.

Ms Kay said: “The goods were delivered in October 2017 and we have still not been paid. We waited until March and then had to get High Court enforcement officers involved but he denied all knowledge of it.”

In documents seen by the Echo, a high court writ was issued against Trinity Funeral Home in July this year.

The Echo has also been sent invoices and e-mails from Mr Kerbey which suggest he ordered the goods from Kaydor signs.

However, Mr Kerbey, who was convicted of fraud in June this year, said he was not the owner of the company at the time the debt was incurred.

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He claims Trinity Funeral Homes Ltd is responsible and that company is no longer active - although it is still listed as active on Companies House.

Mr Kerbey, formerly known as Richard Sage, claims he bought the company in March using the name MRK Partnerships.

The High Court writ has been set aside pending the outcome of the hearing.

Ms Kay added: “It’s a lot of stress. We’re only a small business and that was a big order for us. We are in a right mess and having to use our own personal credit cards to get us out of it. We need the money - we have only just managed to get back on our feet yet the signs are still hung outside their shop.” Mr Kerbey said: “I am aware of the dispute and I am going through the legal system to settle it. I will not comment any further.”