News Stories

Marriage of opposites: the left leaning Mirror and the right leaning Express are now owed by Trinity Mirror

Marriage of opposites: the left leaning Mirror and the right leaning Express are now owed by Trinity Mirror

HARRY MOTTRAM FREELANCE JOURNALIST: Jobs on the line over the marriage of political opposites with the Mirror Express deal (and Trinity Mirror’s £2m a year CEO says duplication will see cuts – but it’s good for shareholders)

Despite the reassurances from both Unite and Trinity Mirror, there is little belief amongst workers at the media group that the purchase of Northern and Shell will not result in job cuts. It sees the publisher of the Daily Mirror takeover the Daily Express and other titles, with more redundancies likely.

Harry Mottram reports

A year ago, Trinity Mirror made 78 redundancies in its regional newspapers with 40 more in September and more again just before Christmas, while some local titles were shut down altogether.
The acquisition of Northern and Shell will see yet more job cuts in Trinity Mirror with so-called duplication being the main reason for redundancies. Print Weekly reported Unite’s Louisa Bull claiming that print workers’ jobs may not be affected with expected cuts expected amongst ‘white collar’ workers in editorial. This suggestion may ring hollow as the Mirror have shut print plants in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and in Wales in the last two years with the loss of scores of print jobs.
The Times reported last week that: “Significant job losses are expected after the owner of the Daily Mirror agreed to pay £126.7m for titles including the Daily Express, the Daily Star, and OK! magazine. In one of the most significant deals in the newspaper industry in decades, Trinity Mirror is buying the publishing assets of Northern and Shell, owned by Richard Desmond.”

Significant job losses are expected after the owner of the Daily Mirror agreed to pay £126.7m for titles including the Daily Express, the Daily Star, and OK! magazine

It went on to say that Simon Fox, chief executive of Trinity Mirror, (who earns in salary and benefits around £2m a year), says: “Job cuts are inevitable as the company seeks savings of £20m a year.” One worker who wished to remain anonymous told Print Monthly that workers had been reassured of job security in October in one Trinity Mirror centre only to be made redundant a month later.
The National Union of Journalists’ Michelle Stanistreet comments: “The NUJ is concerned that Trinity Mirror, with its long record of making cuts to its newspapers, will not be the knight on the white horse they were hoping for.”
Fox comments: “This deal is a really exciting moment in Trinity Mirror’s history, combining some of the most iconic titles in the UK media industry. It is good for our readers, good for our customers, and good for our shareholders. Northern and Shell’s titles have a large and loyal readership, a growing digital presence and a stable revenue mix and offer an excellent fit with Trinity Mirror.”
The deal sees the left leaning Daily Mirror and the right leaning Brexit supporting Express owned by Trinity Mirror, who will also acquire the Daily Star and magazines such as OK! but not Richard Desmond’s stable of porn magazine titles as they were sold in 2004.
For more stories about the printing industry visit:

http://www.printmonthly.co.uk/News/Business/6382/jobs-on-the-line-over-trinity-mirror-deal

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The prestigious ‘official address’ of the print farmer in Canary Wharf

The ‘official address’ of the print farmer in Canary Wharf

HARRY MOTTRAM FREELANCE JOURNALIST: after an open letter is published signed by the victims of a notorious businessman he is already back in business under a new name trading from Canary Wharf

The notorious print farmer Neill Malcolm Stuart John is back in business offering his services as The Book and Catalogue Printer after being roundly condemned by previous customers as ‘fraudulent’.

Despite the letterhead of The Book and Catalogue Printer he uses as his base for his business operation the website www.thebestprinter.co.uk and even having the slight handicap of having no printing presses and living in Barry in Wales he lists his address at Canary Wharf in London implying he is a major player in the industry.

He tells customers that his is “a bona fide and legitimate organisation which is irrefutable” and goes on to claim he prints hundreds of jobs every month. Delivery times are three to five weeks but somewhat in contradiction reminds clients in his terms and conditions that: “in the event of supplier failure. The Seller has a 20 week window to fulfil an order before agreeing to terminate the contract with the customer.”

Alarmingly his claims are in complete contrast to the scores of complaints sent to Print Monthly with more arriving every day. Exasperated former customers complain of late or no delivery, no ISBN numbers being printed on books, little or no communication after they have paid up front, and legal threats when they complain.

Remarkably he states: “The Best Printer are a London based Printing Company who have exclusive arrangements with the largest partners in the UK and Europe. Our annual spend with them is significant enough to afford us an unparalleled level of service from them with the added bonus of dealing with a UK firm. We specialize in jobs with lots of pages and lots of finishing. We are highly competitive at medium runs of 500 – 5000 copies. Our staff have over 20 years of experience within the industry and are here to hold your hand throughout the entire process. We take your artwork, troubleshoot it for problems, offer to fix any errors that may impair the job, proof, print and deliver your job to your door quickly and seamlessly.”

An open letter signed by more than 50 of his ex-customers has been circulated to the media, the trade press, the BBC, the police and trading standards calling for action to stop him. So far all attempts have failed.

Ian Carrott of ICSM the print credit intelligence group who specialise in keeping their members in the know about fraud, bad debts and late payers says it beggars belief that Neill Malcolm Stuart John is able to get away with daylight robbery. He has consistently warned of paying money up front from an unknown supplier and to contact those purporting to give testimonials as they can be fictitious.

One printer who wished to remain anonymous told this publication that: “I’m amazed nobody has been round to sort him out.” It is a sentiment shared by many who have contacted Print Monthly.

More at http://www.printmonthly.co.uk/ and www.harrymottram.co.uk

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The couple have been dubbed 'The Bonny and Clyde of the Print Industry' by victims

The couple have been dubbed ‘The Bonny and Clyde of the Print Industry’ by victims

HARRY MOTTRAM FREELANCE JOURNALIST: open letter to the law enforcement authorities, Government officials, the media and the general public about the notorious businessman Neill Malcolm Stuart John (who has lost hundreds of thousands of pounds of his clients’ cash and continues to trade)

An open letter has been emailed to the authorities, media and Government officials demanding action over the dealings of the businessman Neill Malcolm Stuart John of Barry in Wales. For more than two years journalist Harry Mottram has been exposing and reporting on his activities which entail less than honest trading in the printing and publishing industries. Together with his partner and co-director of some of his firms Clare Hunnisett (often known as the ‘Bonny and Clyde’ of the print industry) he has left a  long list of printers, graphic designers, publishers, print finishers and members of the public out of pocket.

Despite mounting evidence from the testimonies of scores of angry customers John continues to trade.

The letter:

From Harry Mottram (freelance journalist) on behalf of countless victims

Open letter calling for action over the business activities of Neill Stuart Malcolm John

End the activities of the ‘Bonny and Clyde’ of the Print Industry

We the undersigned wish to draw the attention of the general public, graphic designers, small and medium sized businesses of all types, self-publishers, authors, publishers and printers, the media, the law, politicians and the authorities to the business activities of Neill Stuart Malcolm John of Barry near Cardiff in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.

Using a number of business names, limited companies and mixing up first and second names Neill Stuart Malcolm John (we understand this is his correct name) has traded as a print farmer or broker but has consistently failed to provide the service he advertises for more than two years. His various names include Andy, Mal and Mr Poppleton as well as many others and he changes his names and the spellings of his names and adjusts his date of birth to evade justice. For evidence see his various names as directors of hundreds of firms at Companies House.

He also uses his terms and conditions to wriggle out of responsibility. He operates online only and takes money up front which he fails to repay when the printing job is not delivered or printed correctly. When customers complain he uses all manner of excuses not to repay their cash and relies on them giving up trying as they do not want to “throw good money after bad.” He does not own a print factory or any presses but works alone or occasionally with a colleague.

There are two types of victims involved. Firstly members general public, graphic designers, small and medium sized businesses of all types, self-publishers, digital printers, litho printers, authors and publishers who wish to have a book, brochures or other literature printed. They find his website which offers large discounts and below the market rate prices and trust he is genuine only to discover to their cost he does not live up to his promises. The sums involve range from a few hundred pounds to many thousands. After contacting around 100 customers only four said they were satisfied with their dealings with him.

The second type of victim are print firms in the UK and Europe. They are initially paid for work commissioned by Neill Stuart Malcolm John but after he has gained their trust he will order work which is not paid for. Due to the distances involved they are reluctant to chase after him for payment or to take legal action as again they do not want to “throw good money after bad.” They come from as far as Turkey and Russia, plus the Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania and include Poland and the Czech Republic amongst others.

Despite the actions of Neil Stuart Malcolm John being called out in the trade press, the national press and the BBC he continues to ply his trade regularly changing his firm’s name on the internet. He and his partner Clare Hunnisett who is often listed as a director of his firms have been dubbed the ‘Bonny and Clyde’ of the Print Industry by victims for their reckless behaviour in not fulfilling orders or refunding money or indeed repaying any money at all.

Those who have signed below are only a small proportion of his unhappy customers. Most say his activities amount to fraud although the more charitable may call him a dishonest trader and some even suggest he has a mental condition. The money lost to this man amounts to hundreds of thousands of pounds with self-publishers, businesses and printers most hit – but there are others including charities. His numerous firms are listed at Companies House – one of which (House Print) was liquidated in 2016 with no assets. Some customers have taken him to court and have failed to get a penny whilst Action Fraud failed recently to make a case against him stick.

We call upon the police department’s Action Fraud, the Insolvency Service, the Member of Parliament for the Vale of Glamorgan the Rt Hon Alun Cairnes, the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Trading Standards department, the Welsh Assembly Member for the Vale of Glamorgan Jane Hutt, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd and David Gauke the Lord Chancellor to initiate immediate action to end Neill Stuart Malcolm John’s business activities.

We also call on all victims to send comprehensive evidence of their dealings with him to Action Fraud and the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Trading Standards department so they can investigate their individual cases.

For more details of his activities Google his name Neill Stuart Malcolm John and discover the long list of disappointed customers and suppliers and his disgraceful business practices.

Yours the undersigned

Harry Mottram. Freelance journalist

Peter Morgan. Photographer

Magda Wieczorek. Author

Dorri Roughley. Publisher

Paul Day. Customer

Bina Naik. Designer.

Allan Phin. Customer

Isabella Housley. Customer Barbara Jago. Customer

Brendan Perring. Editor of Print Monthly

Ian Carrott. ICSM

Matthew Strong. Customer

Berni Albrighton. Customer

Rick Wilson. Customer

Eleanor Baggaley. Yellow Brick Road Academy

Steve Lampon. Customer

Mr Tab Kimpton. Cartoonist

Oliver Szikszay jr. Managing Director. Szo-Kep Printing ltd. (Hungarian print firm)

John Hemming-Clark. Author

Richard Osborne. Customer

April Stobbart. Customer

Magdalena Wieczorek. Author

Nikki Collins. Managing Director. NMP Collins Innovations Ltd

Jonathan Haskell. Marketing executive

Artur Broks. Sales director. UnitedPress Tipografija SIA, Latvia

Nigel Mitchell. Director, Biddles Books Limited.

Jeff Krotz. Photographer, All The World’s A Studio. Self-employed.

Robin Smith. Robin Smith Fine Art Ltd

Berni Albrighton. Customer

Heather Chamberlain. Customer

Monika Krajinova. Grafia Nova Printing. Czech Republic

Jozsef. Ofszet Nyomda Printers, Budapest, Hungary

Jacyntha Crawley. Customer

Mark Hughes. Managing Director. PAGE Creative Ltd

Jahanara Rahman. Customer

Steve Cooper. Spitting Lizard

Sita Brand. Settle Stories

Jenny Knowles. Publisher. Little Knoll Press

Ann Marie Dalton. Customer

Stephen Tofts. Director. Benchmark Training & Development

Natalie Fox. Customer

Piotr Stachurski. Quad Graphics

Mary McGuire. Customer

Rachael Dingis. Customer

Dave Taylor. Customer

Gerry Grant. Customer

Jahanara Rahman

Adele Lea. Customer

Duncan Gough. Customer

Hugh Hollinghurst. Customer

Peter Maguire League Chairman. Wearside Football Leagues

Jill Hogben. Church printing

Stacey Hicken. Customer

Graham Treglown (GTA Creative)

Mariezain Kabba. Customer

Robin of Situation Press

Mark Worrall. Customer

Philip Caine. Customer

Peter J Nash. Customer

Patrick Thorne. Customer

Patricia Sealy. Company Director

Allan Sealy. Freelance Graphic designer

Lyndon Stokes. Owner 34FINEART LTD.

Caroline Whittle. CEO Out of the Hutch

Heather Odom. Business Manager Out of the Hutch

Peter Maguire. Publisher of 125 years of league football

Keith Righelato. Viosimos Enterprise

Katie West. Fiction & Feeling Ltd.

Jacky Davison. Writer.

Alice Humble. Director of Humble Fit Ltd

Anne Cooper. Publisher

Katy Rink. Editor, My Shrewsbury

Nairobi Thompson. Self-published and published writer and poet.

Pauline Reid. Independent Creative

Rob Hewson. Hewson Consultants Ltd

 

Now read some of their comments:

These are comments about the service customers sent to Harry Mottram by email about their dealings with Neill Malcolm Stuart John. It gives a flavour of the anger felt by many of his customers.

 

Stuart agreed to issue a partial refund, but this never materialised despite repeated assurances. I eventually gave up on writing letters, emailing and phoning to chase up our agreed refund.

Then a number of critical deadlines were missed without apology. Stuart and the staff were rude when we chased for delivery and instead of customer service he tried intimidation by telling us to talk to his lawyers.

I ended up having a book launch without a single copy of my book being available despite there being several weeks between initial discussions (Aug 16) the order being placed (I paid in full Sept 16) and when it was originally expected (End Sept 16 for the book launch 10 Oct 16). I was horribly embarrassed.

He is a liar, a cheat and a conman and very abusive when challenged.

He kept inviting us to take legal action against him. Obviously knowing nothing would come of it as he is a seasoned conman !!! We paid for something we didn’t get and the issue was never rectified.

I paid upfront for an order of books which we planned to sell to raise money for the NSPCC, my chosen charity during my year as Ladies ‘ Captain at my golf club. I hoped to receive the books before Christmas so that they could be used as presents. The books did not arrive and, initially, Stuart offered to refund me half the cost, that never happened. He then became quite unpleasant.

This man is liar and a cheat, we were very not happy at all and now stuck with a publication of 500 hardcover books that were not delivered in time and we missed our opportunity for sell these and he has been using our name as ref to clients.

The first deadline for delivery was missed. After speaking to him on the phone he was becoming more and more evasive, he then told me the books had been printed in Belgium and were on their way but were taking their time. There followed several telephone conversations and an increasing amount of unlikely excuses.

The author of the book then spent many hours on the internet and finally found out his real name which led us to realise we had been scammed after reading the multiple posts about this guys previous activities.

Obviously no books have ever been delivered and despite him promising to waive his ridiculous terms and conditions and promising to repay the money he is yet to do so. He still emails me from time to time which I ignore.

He was sent registered letters to all of his addresses in mid-December giving him 14 days to complete the order or repay the money, obviously neither of these things have happened.

A claim via the small claims court was issued earlier this month which he is contesting, his defence is that he was only an employee and not responsible for the companies actions.

Yes I have been defrauded and then fobbed off.

I find it simply incredible that no national newspaper has picked up on this outrage and scandal… …when there is a real live conman running around repeatedly defrauding vulnerable people.

It would be interesting to understand quite how much money he has actually stolen. It’s nonsensical and an absolute disgrace. It just makes an entire mockery of the justice system.

Yes this man took me for £750 under the Houseprint name.

Paid £2080. He has refunded me £510. I have countless emails saying that he will pay me in full by ex date and of course nothing happens.

I believe that something should be done. This surely is FRAUD. A Czech printing firm was owed > £30,000. It’s such a shame. Also know a printer in Hungary who lost a lot of money. Think the police should be involved. Surely, this is no different from investment scams that the perpetrators go to prison for?

This man will carry on until he dies.  One widow tells me that her small printer husband committed suicide over £35,000 in owed printing, and many European printers are owed 100,000 euros.

It’s absolutely NOT TRUE that I was happy with their service. It was a nightmare as I thought i had lost all the money i paid them with no sight of the books i ordered to print. They kept making up stories after stories and eventually stopped taking my calls.

I wouldn’t recommend his or his company if they were the last printers on earth.

We have NEVER been happy with work. It has been a complete disaster and our Solicitor is on the case.

Are you joking! Happy with them! They ruined my business!

I would not recommend them to anyone and I am taking legal proceedings against them.

I’m a seething victim of this lying con man. I gave him an order for 300 copies of my book October and he had me believe, with occasional vague updates, that there was production work ever ongoing. Only two weeks ago he said the books would arrive ‘the day after tomorrow’ and thanked me for having ‘the patience of a saint’. Of course no books arrived and Mal (or Andy: same person?) then suddenly sent a sheet of quasi-legal drivel cancelling the order and offering me a refund. This was then said to be ‘processing’ last week but (surprise, surprise) didn’t arrive; though l got another ‘legal’ letter today saying that a new partnership had been established which would return fluidity to the operation, and therefore my order could be revived. This thing is quite beyond farce and l think l’ll just have to give up on my £300 deposit.

 

Ends

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2018 01 Print Monthly story print farmer

HARRY MOTTRAM FREELANCE JOURNALIST: notorious print industry businessman made a ‘series of spurious counter claims’ during firm’s shock liquidation

As the fall-out from the collapse of Carillion continues with creditors waiting in vain for payment, spare a thought for a long list of printers, graphic designers, publishers, print finishers and members of the public who haven’t been paid from the HousePrint debacle.
Harry Mottram investigates
The company was run by the notorious print farmer Neill Malcolm Stuart John of Barry in Wales, and went to wall in 2016. No one was paid as the liquidators found there to be no assets. However there was something odd on the balance sheet presented at the liquidation. House Print (trading as The Printing House) claimed to be owed £585,385.28 whilst owing £288,379. These figures have since been adjusted very slightly, but the difference is astonishing as any administrator worth their salt would quite possibly have been able to save the firm or at least see it trade out of its difficulties.

Print Monthly understands from a source at the heart of the case that the £585,385.28 was likely to be “a series of spurious counter claims.” This publication contacted some of those on the list of debtors asking if they owed the amounts mentioned in the report, and they all replied they were owed money and not the other way around… The full story is here along with other stories on the couple – search for Print Farmer on the site: http://www.printmonthly.co.uk/News/Industry/6334/print-farmers-series-of-counter-claims

mNeill 567 Business joint photo

Neill Malcolm Stuart John and his partner have been called the Bonny and Clyde of the print industry by victims

More at http://www.harrymottram.co.uk

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HARRY MOTTRAM FREELANCE JOURNALIST: How pre-packs got a bad name in a climate of phoenix firms and Carillion type collapses as struggling companies use emotional blackmail on their suppliers to extend credit

The word of the year in the world of print and paper has been “pre-pack.” Initially welcomed by the industry as a method to salvage insolvent companies, giving them time to live again under a new name and retaining their workforce, pre-pack deals have become tainted.

Pre-packs began life in 2002 under the Enterprise Act, to allow for the sale of an insolvent firm’s business and assets before the company goes into administration. Its main advantage is to retain all or some of the workforce, and essentially keep the business afloat and prevent the company from disappearing. However, the downside is unsecured creditors may not get paid and it can leave a bad taste among suppliers and customers, who are left high and dry. They may not wish to deal with the new company having been stung once, especially if those running the new company are more or less the same as before, and worse still, appear not to have changed their business model to prevent the business collapsing again. Read the full story and other printing industry stories at http://www.printmonthly.co.uk/Specials/Industry/6228/phoenix-firms-pre-packs-and and more freelance info from Harry at http://www.harrymottram.co.uk/?page_id=1956 —————————————————

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HARRY MOTTRAM FREELANCE JOURNALIST: Amidst the winter of the Carillion collapse – published: print industry firms who have gone to the wall

As the fall-out continues from Carillian’s collapse, a political and economic crisis is developing. Already it is changing the nation’s conversation over the ethics of giving massive infrastructure contracts to companies who don’t pay their sub-contractors on time.

With the back drop to stories of unpaid invoices and stories of the defunct construction company not paying their bills for more than four months, ICSM has released a list of printing industry firms who hit the rocks this winter. Read the full story and other printing industry stories at hhttp://www.printmonthly.co.uk/News/Industry/6300/published-list-of-printers and more freelance info from Harry at http://www.harrymottram.co.uk/?page_id=1956

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HARRY MOTTRAM FREELANCE JOURNALIST: Trinity Mirror circulation woes and the Guardian goes tabloid – latest issues for the newspaper industry in Print Monthly

Going tabloid will save The Guardian ‘millions’ according to the national newspaper’s editor Katherine Viner, who told Radio 4’s Today listeners it was a new era for the paper. Millions that is, in terms of printing, paper and workers. The Press Gazette reported that around 250 people were made redundant last year from the newspaper group.

The editor was backed up by The Guardian’s CEO David Pemsel who says it will be a saving of ‘several million pounds.’ Pemsel comments: “The media sector remains challenging. However, our reader revenues are growing well, and more people are reading us than ever before – we now reach over 150 million unique browsers each month and we have over 800,000 supporters.
Read the full story and other printing industry stories at http://www.printmonthly.co.uk/News/Industry/6296/the-guardian-goes-tabloid and more freelance info from Harry at http://www.harrymottram.co.uk/?page_id=1956

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HARRY MOTTRAM FREELANCE JOURNALIST: doubts over Carillion’s so called ‘early payment scheme’

The construction giant Carillion has gone into liquidation leaving doubts over more than 20,000 jobs in the UK and real concerns for their suppliers that includes print firms, stationers and sign-makers. Although many in industry believe most of the firm will be saved through being re-floated, refinanced, nationalised or bought out in some form of rescue plan there are concerns over whether the thousands of suppliers, self-employed workers and sub-contractors will get paid. For the full story visit: http://www.printmonthly.co.uk/News/Industry/6292/doubts-over-carillions-early-payment-scheme