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Man jailed over bid to recover 'catastrophic' car from West Norfolk village garage

By Lynn News Reporter

A car trader who admitted impersonating a Trading Standards officer in an attempt to recover a dangerous car from a West Norfolk garage has been jailed for 12 months.

Mark Drury, 44, took a truck to recover the Honda car just days after it was sold to an innocent buyer at the yard where he was manager.

Lincoln Crown Court heard today that the car was in an unroadworthy condition when it was sold on September 8, 2017.

Lincoln Crown Court (7066641)
Lincoln Crown Court (7066641)

Jonathan Goulding, prosecuting, said the vehicle’s prop shaft and rear drive shafts were missing after being removed by a qualified mechanic the day before.

This meant the car’s brakes could fail and the rear wheels could come off.

Mr Goulding said the car’s new owner noticed a “crunching” noise the day after buying the vehicle and took it to the Whittington Garage where the defects were observed.

The garage where the vehicle was purchased from, at Kirton, near Boston, was subsequently contacted.

But, five days after the sale, on September 13, Drury and an associate arrived at the Whittington garage with a recovery truck.

Mr Goulding told the court Drury had claimed to be a trading standards officer and carried out an inspection of the vehicle. He also tried to drive it away but the garage became suspicious.

The court also heard workers at the garage had been upset by Drury's behaviour.

During a voluntary interview Drury denied any involvement and appeared to try and change his appearance by shaving his hair and wearing glasses, Mr Goulding added.

The court heard Drury had previous convictions for dishonesty and common assault.

In mitigation the court was told Drury had no involvement in the sale of the Honda and had been diagnosed with a “reactive attachment disorder” after seeking help from a counsellor.

Drury of Garfit’s Lane, Boston, pleaded guilty to the supply of a dangerous product on a limited basis that he had no involvement in the sale and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst told Drury he was a “dishonest man” and described the condition of the car as potentially “catastrophic.”

The judge added: "What you did was to take a recovery truck from Lincolnshire to Norfolk with an associate.

"You then impersonated a Trading Standards officer.

"You brazened it out and pretended you were a man called Keith Darnes from Norfolk Trading Standards."

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