Britain’s most infamous undertaker Richard Sage is awaiting trial at Blackfriars Crown Court on 28 April on a charge of fraud by false representation. He stands accused, among other things, of having posted a series of bogus adverts looking for young people to work with him. It is alleged the adverts asked for a £400 administration fee, but the promise of a job was a lie.
A little piece of Sage’s previous has been brought to our attention. This goes back to the days when Sage was operating a private ambulance service alongside his undertaking business. The story features Nigel Gardner, who runs a private ambulance service called Ambukare.
Whilst working as a driver for an undertaker’s, Sage decided to set up his own private ambulance firm. He did it convincingly too, embracing the much-revered work-sharing ethic. He would take jobs from hospitals, demand payment up front, and pass the jobs on to other companies. One of the companies was Ambukare. Gardner received a call from an unfamiliar company, Inter County, but obliged the request all the same. He then had a lengthy period of chasing payment.
The undertaker’s firm hadn’t seen Sage for some time. Nor had any of his clients. Eventually, Gardner decided to ring the police, who it turns out were looking for him too. He was wanted for various acts of fraud. Gardner’s account added another to the list.
The CID tracked him down in Spain.
“A lot of people were angry as Sage hadn’t paid a single client,” said Gardner. “I knew I wouldn’t get my money back. I was just waiting to see what the courts would do to him.”
The courts were firm, giving him several years, “which I suppose is only fair”, Gardner laughs, “as we soon found out he’d been ferrying people around in hearses!” (Source)
While we hope that the judge at Blackfriars Crown Court will bring his activities to an end soon, we have to wonder if more couldn’t have been done to stop him.