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Car dealer avoids jail for fraud in deal with Toomey Motors

A car salesman from Sully has narrowly avoided a jail sentence for carrying out a £30,700 fraud.

James Rodriguez-Lay was running Redline Vehicle Solutions Ltd in Barry when he sold a Ford Focus to Toomey Motors in Essex in February 2014.

After taking the £30,700 into his own bank account, rather than the business account, 38-year-old Rodriguez-Lay failed to supply the vehicle, stringing along Toomey Motors with promises that it was about to be delivered, reports the Penarth Times

Rodriguez-Lay, of Cog Road, Sully, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of fraud, claiming he always intended to supply the vehicle but that the deal had "gone sour" at his end with a third party seller being to blame.

He was found guilty at Cardiff Crown Court last month.

At his sentencing yesterday case judge, Recorder Phillip Hartley-Davies described Rodriguez-Lay's behaviour as "very concerning".

The court also heard that father-of-two Rodriguez-Lay has a previous conviction for obtaining property by deception.

Redline Vehicle Solutions - which was run by Rodriguez-Lay, with silent business partner Derek Knox - is no longer trading.

Hartley Davies said: "There is something seriously wrong with the way you have treated Toomey Motors and the way you have treated other people."

During his trial, prosecutor Ieuan Morris has told the court that at the time of the offence Rodriguez-Lay was living in a £1,350 a month rented house in Sully.

The court heard that he was overdrawn and "living beyond his means".

Hartley-Davies said that it was only consideration for Rodriguez-Lay's wife and two children that had prevented him being given an immediate custodial sentence.

"I have to bear in mind the effect a prison sentence would have on your young family," he said. "This causes me to draw back from an immediate prison sentence today."

Giving Rodriguez-Lay a 15-month prison sentence suspended for two years, Hartley-Davies said: "This will give you the opportunity, perhaps the last opportunity, to change. You have shown a very dishonest past. It is now time to put that behind you."

Rodriguez-Lay was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work, to pay £6,000 compensation, £1,000 costs and a £100 charge.


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  • retired trader - 15/07/2015 13:46

    The more things change the more they stay the same

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