Sunderland photographer ruined wedding day

Martin and Heidi Shubrook, who have won damages in a County Court against cameraman Clayton Bennett.

Martin and Heidi Shubrook, who have won damages in a County Court against cameraman Clayton Bennett.

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A COUPLE’S Big Day was ruined by a Sunderland cameraman who failed to capture precious memories of their wedding.

Martin and Heidi Shubrook were devastated when they received the video that was supposed to be an eternal reminder of their special day.

Instead of capturing key moments, including the couple signing the register, cutting the cake, speeches and confetti-throwing, Clayton Bennett gave them a video featuring shots of guests feet and backs and of the couple so far away, they are just a dot in the distance.

Martin, 34, who runs the family’s publishing business based in Essex, said: “Clayton Bennett was utterly unprofessional. He turned up in unsuitable clothing and vanished for most of the day.

“As a result, he missed the shot of us signing the register, the shot of us coming out of the church and the cutting of the cake, as well as some of the speeches.

“What we did get was poorly filmed. The angles were wonky and the framing bad and he allowed subjects to move out of shot.

“For part of it, the camera was left lying on the floor so half of the shot was grass.

“He even managed to include people who were not part of the wedding.”

Now Martin and teacher Heidi, 29, have won a court battle against the photographer, who at the time was trading as Lasting Impressions video and photography services, based at Front Street, New Herrington.

Bennett, of Howden, County Durham, has now declared himself bankrupt.

He had promised to provide the couple with a professional package and charged them £350 to video their wedding in July 2009.

But after seeing the final wedding video, the couple launched a year-long battle to bring the cameraman, who later traded as We Photograph Your Wedding, to the small claims court for breach of contract.

A judge sitting at Durham County Court ordered Bennett to pay £600, court costs and travel expenses.

Bennett, who claims to have stopped trading, agreed to pay back the cash in £20 instalments.

But the couple say they have not seen a penny.

Dad-of-two Martin added: “It is not right that this individual can take people’s money and then not deliver.

“I don’t think we are going to see a penny. But I want the wider public to be aware of what happened to us.”

Bennett said he has paid three instalments and defended his video.

He added: “The Shubrooks expected the money they paid for the video to buy them an awful lot.

“I went out of my way for them. I had only been paid until 8.30pm but I stayed until 10pm for free.

“I have paid £20 a month as agreed and I have records to prove that. I am disputing the award made for costs as I am no longer working and I have laid out my bankruptcy order before the court.”