Teesside Crown and County Court, via PATeesside Crown and County Court, via PA


Used car dealership worker spent £4,000 of warranty pre-payment cards on herself and kids

  • Lucy Raw should have used warranty firm’s cards to pay for claims made by Driven Car Sales
  • Instead, she splashed out £4k-plus on carpets, sports goods, nursery fees and more
  • Court is told defendant had history of fraud convictions
  • Judge warns her she may go to jail in future despite having children

Time 10:43 am, January 30, 2024

A mother with a history of dishonesty spent more than £4,000 of a used car dealership’s warranty pre-payment cards on nursery fees, carpets and more.

Driven Car Sales employee Lucy Raw should have been using the cards to settle repair warranty payments but instead used them for herself, reported Teesside Live.

Ordinarily, claims would be made via Momentum Warranties and settled via a pre-payment card that was emailed to the company.

However, the 35-year-old was rumbled when Driven Car Sales contacted the warranty firm as no payment had been received for a claim that had been submitted, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Rachel Butt said an investigation revealed that Raw, of Barnaby Close, Marske, had been using cards for herself, including shopping at JD Sports, paying for nursery fees and a sole payment to a carpet firm.

She pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation after taking a total of £4,012.94 over three months from the end of 2021, although Teesside Live said Driven Car Sales hadn’t supported the prosecution.

Butt told the court Raw was previously convicted of fraud by false representation after advertising a car for sale online and taking a £450 deposit but the victim never got the car or received a refund.

And Raw received a suspended sentence in 2016 for two charges of fraud by false representation after she sold carpets to various people but the goods weren’t delivered and, again, there were no refunds.

In mitigation, Nikki Horton told the court that Raw was pregnant and in an abusive relationship at the time of the pre-payment card offences but had ended the relationship.

The court, pictured, was also told that Raw had made full admissions when she was interviewed and had offered to repay all the money if a plan could be drawn up.

She was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

But Judge Timothy Stead was quoted as warning her: ‘You have children to care for. I don’t want you to think that having children and being a sole carer is a guarantee you won’t be sent to prison for any offending.

‘Yes, it very much helps and I have certainly borne it in mind, but there will come a point where a court says you can’t go on doing this sort of thing and relying on your personal circumstances to save you from imprisonment.

‘It does save you today, but it might not another time.’

Raw must also do 100 hours of unpaid work as well as 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and go on the Ministry of Justice’s Thinking Skills Programme for 19 days.

The programme is a cognitive skills process that addresses how offenders think and their behaviour associated with offending, with the aim of cutting reoffending, and helps offenders develop skills in setting goals and making plans to achieve them without offending.

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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