A Lincolnshire second hand car dealer was jailed for 12 months at Lincoln Crown Court on three different charges.
Second hand car dealer Mark Drury (45) of Garfield House, 65 Garfitts Lane, Boston, was on Friday (8 February 2019) at Lincoln Crown Court, jailed for 12 months for supplying an unsafe car, perverting the course of justice by pretending to be Trading Standards officer and attempting to remove evidence.
In August 2017, a trading standards investigation was launched after Mr Drury sold Norfolk resident, Mrs Woodlow, a ‘dangerous’ used car.
After picking up the car and making her way home to Norfolk, Mrs Woodlow noticed a banging noise coming from the back of the car. She took it to her local garage, where mechanics found both the prop shaft and both drive shafts had been removed. Mechanics then informed Lincolnshire Trading Standards.
Trading Standards then seized the car and ordered it to remain at the garage in Norfolk, in order to undergo further safety tests.
However, a day later Mr Drury arrived in Norfolk, pretended to be the Trading Standards officer in charge and tried to tow the car away Luckily, the savvy staff at the garage realised what was going on, they blocked the vehicle in, and Mr Drury ran off.
“The car was unroadworthy and in a dangerous condition when sold,” said vehicle expert, Mark Brown, who gave evidence at the case. “The rear brakes are worn out and incorrectly assembled, the prop and drive shafts had been removed and there was practically nothing holding the rear wheels on.”
Drury pretending to be a Trading Standards Officer
Judge Hirst, who presided over the case, said: “Perverting the course of justice is very serious. Mr Drury knew what he was doing and caused distress to everyone around. Mr Drury is man of very deceptive nature – a dishonest man, who twisted and turned at every opportunity to get out of the situation.”
Sara Barry, head of Trading Standards at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “In Lincolnshire we target our resources against those individuals and businesses that cause the most problems for consumers – this case was no exception. Vehicles which are dangerous and unroadworthy put all our lives at risk. This case should send out a very strong message to rogue traders – we will prosecute you and bring you to justice.”
In 2018, Lincolnshire Trading Standards received 1,169 complaints about used cars.
When buying a used car, officers from Trading Standards suggest:
– Visit www.gov.uk to check MOT history.
This MOT history gives the recorded mileage each time the vehicle was submitted for test. It also gives details of past MOT failures and advisories.
– Do your research on the seller.
Shop around, look for customer reviews of your dealership online and ask friends and family.
– Ask questions.
Ask the dealer about the condition of the car, repairs carried out on the car, and the relevant documentation for the car such as the service history, V5C registration document (logbook) and MOT certificates.
– Check the car over.
Check the mileage online here to ensure it hasn’t been tampered with, take a mechanic with you to view and inspect the car before purchase – don’t pay on the net, and always take the car for a test drive.
– Be aware of sales patter.
Ensure any verbal claims made by the salesman are put in writing.
For further information and advice, visit the Citizens Advice consumer service on https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ (opens in new window) or call 03454 04 05 06.
To find out more about the work Lincolnshire Trading Standards does, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards