Ashley Wilson, Hampshire Police_PAAshley Wilson, Hampshire Police_PA


Judge jails ‘dishonest’ used car dealer for nearly five years for clocking 33 used cars

  • Dodgy car dealer jailed for close to five years at Portsmouth Crown Court
  • Ashley Wilson wiped 2.9 million miles from the odometers of 33 used cars
  • Campaign began while 27-year-old was on bail for separate fraud charges
  • Judge labels salesman ‘thoroughly dishonest’ and says he has ‘thrown away a comfortable life’

Time 1:59 pm, June 9, 2023

A ‘thoroughly dishonest’ car dealer who wiped enough miles off the odometers of 33 cars to ‘travel to the moon and back six times’ has been jailed for close to five years.

Ashley Wilson, from Fareham, Hampshire, sold 33 used vehicles having deliberately tampered with milometers to display lower mileages as part of a ‘prolonged’ and ‘sophisticated’ campaign of fraud.

The 27-year-old also falsified service histories in an attempt to cover his tracks and sold the vehicles online to legitimate car dealers around the country.

Today (June 9) the full scale of his deceit was laid out at Portsmouth Crown Court.

At a sentencing hearing attended by Car Dealer, the court was told that Wilson wiped a total of 2.9m miles off 33 used cars.

In an attempt to give context to the vastness of the operation, Judge Richard Shepherd said the figure was ‘enough to get to the moon and back on six occasions’.

The court was also told that Wilson, who wore a white shirt and black tie in the dock, paid a total of £450,000 for the vehicles and made a profit of £140,000.

The offences dated from February 2021 to July 2022 and began while the defendant was also on bail for separate fraud charges in relation to a previous company, YouDrive.

On that occasion, the same judge handed him a 21-month suspended sentence after hearing that Wilson had set his sights on becoming a ‘law-abiding member of society’.

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However, it has now transpired that he was already involved in the latest fraud campaign at the time of that hearing.

In mitigation for his client, who spoke only to confirm his name and address, defence barrister Ethan Crorie said Wilson was a ‘smart, compassionate, loving and caring’ individual.

He also told the judge that Wilson ‘has the ability to give back to society’.

After hearing all the evidence, Judge Shepherd sentenced the dealer to 45 months in prison for the clocking offences.

He also activated 12 months of his previous suspended sentence, placing Wilson, of Longfield Avenue, behind bars for four years and nine months.

The salesman, who wiped away tears as the sentence was dished out, was told he will serve half of his sentence before being released on licence.

Summing up the case, Judge Shepherd said: ‘Across the vehicles that you caused to be clocked, the difference in mileage between their true miles and the false mileage was some 2.9m miles.

‘Put another way – the moon and back on six occasions. That is the scale of your fraud.

‘That fraud took place February 11, 2021 and July 22, 2022 so approaching a year and a half. That chronology is complicated yet further by the fact that you were facing charges in relation to YouDrive stemming from 2017 onwards.

‘By the time this clocking fraud began, you had already pleaded guilty to fraud, you had already been on bail for that fraud, and after I sentenced you to your suspended sentence you continued with that clocking fraud for another 10 months.

‘In those 10 months, you were a thoroughly dishonest whilst also under the umbrella of a suspended sentence.’

‘Rank dishonesty’

Earlier in the hearing, it was revealed that Wilson, who wore a face mask in the courtroom, had not been the person who first initiated the clocking campaign.

Prosecutor Philip Allman told the court that the campaign had been set up by a third party and Wilson had initially ‘hidden his head in the sand’.

However, once he became aware of what was going on, he began to actively encourage the practice, as proved in text messages shown to the judge.

In a final dressing-down of Wilson, Judge Shepherd told the defendant he had ‘thrown away valuable attributes’ by ’embarking upon a course of rank dishonesty’.

He told him: ‘You are a bright, intelligent man who is still relatively young, but you have thrown away those valuable attributes by embarking upon a course of rank dishonesty and wholesale fraud not just in relation to the clocking offence but also to previous frauds in relation to YouDrive.

‘I know not why you would choose to throw away what is otherwise a comfortable life.

‘I know not why you would choose to deploy your obvious talents in back-to-back criminal enterprises.

‘The difficulty for you is because you’re bright and because you’re intelligent, you knew what you were doing.’

He added: ‘Yours is a high culpability case. It was sophisticated, it was complicated and it did require significant planning, even if that planning wasn’t at the start of your involvement.

‘It was also fraudulent activity committed over a sustained period of time and there was a large number of victims.’

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing is now set to take place in a bid to recoup any money made illegally.

Image: Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary/PA

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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