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Dealer fined £9,700 over unroadworthy vehicles

Court

Magistrates fined a used car dealer £9,700 after he offered vehicles for sale with an array of faults including illegal tyres and corroded components.

Trading standards officials discovered an Alfa Romeo with a split tyre, a Renault Megane with faulty suspension, a Suzuki Wagon with a badly corroded front brake pipe and a Ford Mondeo with an illegal tyre during a visit to Michael Barbato’s forecourt.

But the 55-year-old trader – boss of Swindon Trade Centre in Stratton Road, Swindon – denied four allegations when he appeared before Swindon magistrates.

The hearing at Swindon Magistrates Court heard how three of the cars were advertised online with a new MOT on purchase while the Mondeo’s MOT had 11 months to run, the Swindon Advertiser reported.

Trading standards officer Natalie Hill said a man, who identified himself as John Wallman, had confirmed that all the cars were for sale and could be test driven during her visit.

Barbato said not all could be driven because they didn’t have MOTs when he arrived at the site, however.

Prosecutor Oliver Willmott said that it was a crime to present the unroadworthy vehicles for sale and asllow customers to get in and try the engine, regardless of whether they could be test driven or not.

Magistrates ordered Barbato to pay £4,000 in fines, a victim surcharge of £100 and court costs of £5,600.



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