According to the Plymouth Herald, Motor City (Plymouth) and Michael Haxby were awarded the hefty fine after being convicted of four counts of engaging in unfair commercial practice. A jail sentence could follow if the fine is not paid.
Plymouth Crown Court heard Haxby, 57, handed a leaflet to a customer which said the dealership was a ‘Trading Standards Partner’. The same claim was evident on the company’s website too.
However, the showroom had not been approved by the city council’s Trading Standards department
Haxby, of The Elms, Stoke, had denied two individual counts of engaging in an unfair commercial practice nearly two years ago in June 2011.
On behalf of Motor City (Plymouth), based on Valley Road, Plympton, Haxby also pleased not guilty to the same two counts.
Judge Graham Cottle fined Motor City (Plymouth) £5,000 on each charge and Haxby £1,000 on each charge.
The judge also ordered Haxby and the company to pay £10,000 in costs. A time period of six months to pay the fines was given; failure to do so would result in a prison sentence being given.
The judge said: ‘I need to make it clear by the quantum of the fine that this is important legislation you were in breach of.’