A HEAVILY pregnant mother has been left £500 out of pocket after a bed store went out of business.

Sarah Mounsey's two daughters, Amber, 13, and Paige, ten, have been forced to sleep on mattresses on the floor after Clarke Retail Ltd at Stockton's Teesside Park went into liquidation.

She had ordered new beds for the girls, along with a new bed for her and her partner, Steve Hicks.

They paid £503 cash for the three beds, but after she had disposed of her old beds and called to arrange delivery, she was told that Clarke's had folded.

Clarke's, which was a franchise operating out of the Dreams store on the retail park, went into administration on May 6 - just five days after the couple ordered two of the beds.

Clarke's has now been taken over by Dreams Plc, which is offering affected customers a discount, should they wish to select new beds.

However, Ms Mounsey, who is expecting her third child in a week's time, said that was not good enough.

"I was so upset," said the 32-year-old. "I'm 39 weeks pregnant and the bairns are sleeping on mattresses on the floor. It's appalling when we have paid for the beds in full.

"When we went to that store, we believed we were buying the beds from Dreams. It is only now, when I have looked at the small print on the back of a receipt that I see it was a franchise."

Ms Mounsey, of Milton Street, Darlington, said: "If we had paid by credit card, we could have claimed our money back, but, because we paid cash, there is nothing we can do. It's all wrong."

The Northern Echo was unable to contact Clarke's owner, Brian Clarke.

The manager of Dreams store said he was unable to comment. No one at the company's head office was available.

A notice at the store informed people that Clarke's, which also operated in Gateshead, had gone into liquidation and advised those affected to call administrator Philip Gaultier on 0208-3433 710.