A car dealer who defrauded customers by falsifying mileage and giving misleading details has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds by a court.
David Ryan Frederick Hailes, who traded as Banks of the Tyne Motor Company in Hebburn, faced court after a South Tyneside Council trading standards investigation.
South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard how Hailes sold a Ford Transit to a customer for £900 with a 12-month MOT.
But severe corrosion was discovered after the van developed an electrical problem when the customer drove it home, reported the Shields Gazette.
Hailes promised to refund the customer, but never paid up.
Magistrates were also told how Hailes had advertised a VW Passat for £1,895 on Auto Trader with 88,105 miles – but its actual mileage was more than 200,000.
Hailes, 34, of Rectory Bank in West Boldon, admitted both fraud charges and was ordered to pay an £80 fine and £30 victim surcharge and compensation of £900 and £1,895 to the customers.
Hailes was trading as Banks of the Tyne Motor Company when the frauds occurred in 2017.
The dealership, which is still trading today, told the local paper that Hailes no longer works for the business.
A South Tyneside Council spokesperson told the Sheilds Gazette: ‘Car traders must take their responsibilities very seriously, especially when selling second-hand vehicles.
‘MOTs and vehicle service histories ensure vehicles are safe and roadworthy and anyone who attempts to defraud these are not only committing an offence but are also putting the public at risk.
‘In this case, two customers were misled about the status of the vehicles they bought and then experienced difficulties when problems arose.
‘Consumers need to feel confident that they can rely on the information provided by traders and the trader conducts their business openly and honestly.
‘We hope that this prosecution sends out a clear message that our trading standards team will not hesitate to investigate and take action against those who attempt to cheat customers and deny them their statutory rights.’
Picture: South Tyneside Magistrates Court; Source: Google Streetview