Car dealer ordered to pay thousands of pounds after he admits defrauding two customers
South Tyneside Council took legal action against David Ryan Frederick Hailes after a trading standards investigation found he gave misleading details about two vehicles he sold while trading as Banks of the Tyne Motor Company, in Hebburn, in October 2017.
South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard how a Ford Transit van Hailes sold to a customer for £900 had 12 months MOT.
Yet it emerged the test was carried out on the same day, at a garage more than 30 miles away and severe corrosion was discovered after the vehicle developed electrical problems during the drive home.
A promised refund never materialised.
The court also learned that Hailes made misleading representations about the mileage and service history of a VW Passat he sold for £1,895.
Its true mileage was more than 200,000 miles and not the 88,105 miles stated in an Autotrader advert.
Hailes, 34, of Rectory Bank, West Boldon, admitted both fraud charges and was this week ordered to pay an £80 fine, a £30 victim surcharge and compensation of £900 and £1,895 respectively to the customers.
A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said afterwards: “Car traders must take their responsibilities very seriously, especially when selling second-hand vehicles.
"MOTs and vehicle service histories ensure vehicles are safe and roadworthy and anyone who attempts to defraud these are not only committing an offence but are also putting the public at risk.
“In this case, two customers were misled about the status of the vehicles they bought and then experienced difficulties when problems arose.
"Consumers need to feel confident that they can rely on the information provided by traders and the trader conducts their business openly and honestly.
“We hope that this prosecution sends out a clear message that our trading standards team will not hesitate to investigate and take action against those who attempt to cheat customers and deny them their statutory rights.”
A spokesman for Banks of the Tyne – whose website says “we are proud to offer you a first class customer service” – told the Gazette that Hailes does not work for the company any more.
Further trading standards information, including details of reputable businesses, are available from the council at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/tradingstandards