A used car dealer who impersonated a Trading Standards officer in an attempt to retrieve a dangerous car seized by authorities has been jailed for a year.
Mark Drury, of Garfitts Lane, Boston, was 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 during a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court last week.
In August 2017, a trading standards investigation was launched after the 45-year-old 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.
Officers from the authority seized the car and ordered it to remain at the garage in Norfolk, in order to undergo further safety tests.
However, Drury then arrived in Norfolk, pretended to be the Trading Standards officer in charge of the case and attempted to tow the car away.
Savvy staff at the garage realised what was happening and blocked the vehicle in, however – causing Drury to flee the scene on foot.
“The car was unroadworthy and in a dangerous condition when sold,” said vehicle expert, Mark Brown, who gave evidence in court. “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.”
Judge Simon 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.