Double jeopardy for Worcester car dealer who sold a clocked car, twice

Published Friday, 11th November 2016

A Worcester-based car dealer has been ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £3,514 after pleading guilty to selling the same clocked car, on two occasions.

Justin Cull who traded as JC Car Sales of Bromyard Road, Worcester appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday 3 November 2016 where he pleaded guilty to offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Fraud Act 2006.

An investigation by officers from Worcestershire Trading Standards Service revealed the business had, in March 2015, advertised and sold a 2008 Honda Civic to an unsuspecting consumer, which had an incorrect mileage, otherwise known as 'clocked'.  The mileage on car read 65,000 miles but should have been greatly in excess of 88,000 miles which had been recorded in 2011. The consumer returned the vehicle to the business as soon as he discovered the incorrect mileage. However, in August 2015 Mr Cull knowingly re-advertised and sold the same car to another unsuspecting consumer, again with an incorrect mileage.

In mitigation the defence highlighted Mr Cull’s co-operation and early guilty plea, but conceded that he had failed to take appropriate steps when the car was returned by the first purchaser.  It was explained that due to personal problems at the time Mr Cull had failed to address his mind correctly to this business transaction. 

Cllr Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for localism and communities said: “The work of our Trading Standards officers is vital in ensuring that consumers in Worcestershire are protected from this type of fraudulent business activity.   We have a dedicated team of officers who actively investigate criminal complaints of this type, and carry out routine inspections both online and in person at local car dealers. 

“We are satisfied with the outcome and the way the Magistrates dealt with this case shows how seriously such matters are viewed.”