Pensioner denies causing nearly £50,000 of damage to luxury cars after dispute with garage owner

  • 78-year-old appears in court accused of damaging 10 luxury cars at a cost of almost £50,000
  • William Lynch denies causing ‘deep’ damage to vehicles including Porsche Macan and Range Rover
  • Prosecutors say defendant had argued with garage owner just days before cars were targeted
  • Incident took place at Extreme Body Centre in Poole

Time 8:51 am, March 4, 2024

A pensioner caused almost £50,000 of damage to a string of luxury cars after a dispute with a garage owner, a court has been told.

William Lynch, 78, appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Friday (March 1) charged with 10 counts of criminal damage at Extreme Body Centre in the town.

He was accused of leaving ‘deep’ damage to the paintwork of 10 vehicles by running his hands over them with a concealed item.

The alleged incident happened just days after he was said to have argued with garage owner Gary Conlon.

The court was told that Lynch, of Jacqueline Road, Poole, had taken his own vehicle – a Bentley Turbo R – to the bodyshop for work but had been unable to take it from the site again because of an issue with Lynch’s insurance.

He entered not guilty pleas to all the charges at Friday’s hearing, which was attended by Car Dealer, with his lawyers telling the court that it was a case of mistaken identity.

William Lynch leaving court with his wife. Picture copyright © Blackball Media Ltd 2024

Among the cars he is accused of damaging – at a cost of £9,101.66 – is his own Bentley.

He is also accused of causing £4,506 of damage to a Porsche Macan and £7,436.62 of damage to a Range Rover.

Other vehicles listed on the charge sheet included a BMW 1 Series, a Toyota Celica and a Jeep Cherokee.

The overall value of the damage was valued at £49,136.72, prosecutor Leah Dillon told the court.

She said: ‘It’s approximately £50,000 of damage in total to 10 vehicles altogether.

‘There is CCTV footage from a local business that shows a male walking outside the forecourt of Extreme Body Centre.

‘The male is wearing gloves next to vehicles, moving his hand over the bodywork and appearing to cause damage whilst doing so.

‘There was extensive damage caused to 10 vehicles totalling just under £50,000.

‘A sharp object appears to have been passed over the bodywork, with large, deep scratches created on the surface paint and into the metalwork of the vehicles.

‘One of the vehicles that was damaged was a Bentley belonging to the suspect in this case. The car was at the garage for some bodywork to be done.

‘The victim, a Mr Conlon, says he had a previous conversation with the suspect and he said he would not be able to drive the car home as he did not have any insurance on it.

‘At this point, Mr Conlon said that while the car remained on the business premises it would be covered by his business insurance.’

James Moore, defending Lynch, said his client ‘factually denies’ the case against him.

He told the court: ‘He says this is a case of mistaken identity. He factually denies being present. He factually denies causing any damage. He is very much of the opinion “I am not guilty. I did not do that”.’

A full list of the damage as given to the court and allegedly caused by Lynch is as follows:

  • Bentley Turbo R (£9,101.66)
  • Range Rover (£7,436.62)
  • BMW 1 Series (£5,006.52)
  • Toyota Celica (£4,980)
  • Jeep Cherokee (£4,617.92)
  • Porsche Macan (£4,506)
  • Ford Transit (£4,506)
  • Vauxhall Mokka (£4,296)
  • Mercedes A Class (£3,246)
  • Volkswagen Caddy (£1,440)

Lynch was granted unconditional bail and will appear at Bournemouth Crown Court on April 4.

Main image copyright © Blackball Media Ltd 2024

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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