Auto Scuderia, Mar 2021Auto Scuderia, Mar 2021

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Used car dealer’s MOT tester ‘forced’ to issue fraudulent certificates after being given ‘kicking’

  • Technician David Carden admitted 12 charges of fraud
  • He asked for 809 more offences to be taken into consideration
  • Judge gives him suspended prison sentence but orders him to pay thousands in costs
  • Dad-of-two must also carry out unpaid work and undergo rehabilitation

Time 7:25 am, February 27, 2023

An MOT tester who said he issued hundreds of fake certificates after being given a ‘kicking’ has been given a suspended jail sentence.

David Carden, 53, told Bristol Crown Court a ‘mystery man’ put him under pressure to issue the fraudulent certificates, reported Bristol Live.

The father-of-two added that when he refused, he received a ‘kicking’, so continued issuing them as he not only feared for his safety but that of his family as well.


He admitted 12 charges of fraud committed between August 2021 and January 2022, and asked for another 809 offences to be taken into consideration.

Prosecutor Felicity Hine said a routine DVSA inspection of used car dealership and MOT testing station Auto Scuderia in Ashton Gate, Bristol, showed that MOTs had been given for cars that hadn’t been seen to enter or leave the garage.

Carden, of Kenmare Road, Bristol, at first said he’d issued an unexamined Honda Civic with an MOT, and was reported to have said: ‘I f***** up.’


A probe found that he had in fact issued some 800 MOT certificates for which the garage couldn’t account.

The agency cancelled the fake MOTs and had Carden’s authority to test vehicles removed for five years, which is the maximum.

In mitigation, Robert Morgan-Jones said Carden had been approached in August 2021 by a man who had lent him money. The man gave Carden a list of vehicles for which he was expected to issue MOT certificates.

The court was told Carden was also shown photographs of his family’s homes, so he complied out of fear.

Morgan-Jones was quoted as saying: ‘At one stage he said to the male he would not carry on.

‘The male returned with another man and he was given a “kicking”. He carried on. He felt he had no choice.

‘Clearly, someone has made a significant amount of money out of all of this. There is no evidence he made a penny.

‘He says he lost as a result. He says sometimes he put cars through at £30 and he paid that himself.’

The lawyer told the court Carden was introverted and mild-mannered, and that the technician had retained his job at Auto Scuderia.


‘If the gang was looking for a vulnerable man, they couldn’t have picked a much better choice,’ he added.

Carden was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, as well as being told to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work, undergo 10 days of rehabilitation and pay £2,250 costs.

Judge Edward Burgess KC was quoted as saying: ‘The MOT system exists to ensure road safety at a fundamental level.

‘If it is abused systematically, the risk to the general public is very, very real. It is difficult to quantify the scale of that risk here.’

Image: Google Street View


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John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.



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