A POTENTIALLY dangerous car was sold to a Leamington woman by a car dealer in the guise of a private seller – earning him a suspended prison sentence.
Stratford auto dealer Ian Blinkhorne was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay costs of £1,500 following a successful prosecution by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards.
The car, a Ford Ka advertised on Facebook, was purchased by a Leamington resident to do the school run. After having problems with the vehicle she took it for an MOT test, which it failed.
A trading standards vehicle examiner identified a number of faults which made the car unsafe to drive – including faulty power steering, seized brakes, excessive corrosion to the driver’s seat mounting and failed suspension.
These faults affected the integrity of the vehicle and would have lessened its ability to withstand an impact should there have been an accident.
Trading standards investigations revealed 51 year-old Ian Blinkhorne of Elm Road, Stratford, had advertised 89 vehicles for sale on the Gumtree website since February 2013.
At Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court, Blinkhorne pleaded guilty to the offences of advertising as a private seller and selling an unsafe vehicle.
Blinkhorne eventually refunded the customer when trading standards became involved.
Before sentencing, probation confirmed Blinkhorne had indicated remorse for the offences and an understanding of the potential for harm and danger linked to the offences.
County community safety spokesman Coun John Horner said: “We hope this prosecution sends out a strong message that there are serious consequences to selling unroadworthy vehicles and trying to avoid a trader’s legal obligations by pretending to be a private seller.
“Trading standards will continue to take action to protect car buyers.
“Warwickshire Trading Standards continues to work with both new and used car dealers to help ensure that they are complying with the law, helping to keep all road users safe.”