A CAR dealer from Stratford-upon-Avon has received a suspended prison sentence after selling a potentially dangerous car and pretending to be a private seller.
The result follows a successful prosecution by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards.
The car, a Ford Ka advertised on Facebook, was bought by a Leamington Spa resident to do the school run. After having problems with the vehicle she took it for an MOT test, which it failed.
An expert vehicle examiner from Trading Standards identified a number of problems that made the car unsafe to drive. These included faulty power steering, seized brakes, excessive corrosion to the driver’s seat mounting and failed suspension.
Investigations revealed that Ian Blinkhorne, 51, of Elm Road, Stratford, had advertised 89 vehicles for sale on Gumtree since February 2013.
At Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court, Blinkhorne admitted advertising as a private seller and selling an unsafe vehicle. He received a sentence of 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £1,500 costs. Blinkhorne refunded the consumer once Trading Standards became involved in the matter.
Following the hearing, Warwickshire county councillor John Horner, portfolio holder for community safety, said: ‘We hope this prosecution sends out a strong message that there are serious consequences to selling unroadworthy vehicles and trying to avoid a trader’s legal obligations by pretending to be a private seller.’
The magistrates highlighted to Blinkhorne the seriousness of the offence, hence the suspended prison sentence. They also noted that they ‘dreaded to think’ what might have happened given the condition of the vehicle.
Before sentencing, Probation confirmed that Blinkhorne had shown remorse and understood the potential for harm and danger linked to the offences.
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