A Skewen trader has received a six-month jail sentence for selling an unsafe vehicle after a complaint was made to Neath Port Talbot Council’s Trading Standards team via Citizens Advice.
Alan Peter LEWIS, of APL Cars, Skewen, had previously been found guilty of the charge, under the General Product Safety Regulations, in December 2023.
At a hearing at Swansea Crown Court on January 25th, 2024, Judge Geraint Walters sentenced Mr Lewis to six months in prison. Judge Walters also ordered the defendant to pay £2,000 compensation in relation to the sale of the vehicle.
The court heard the female complainant who purchased the car from Mr Lewis initially contacted the consumer service run by Citizens Advice after her local garage condemned it.
Then, the council’s Trading Standards team arranged for another examination which also found the vehicle to have been unsafe when it was sold in January 2022.
Addressing Mr Lewis in his sentencing remarks, Judge Walters told him he had no experience in the sale of motor vehicles but ventured into business, buying cars at auction and selling them on.
He added: “In this case you sold a motor vehicle and when the customer went to have an MOT at point of renewal five months after she bought it, it received a failure notice and a direction that the vehicle could not leave the garage due to its dangerous condition.
“Expert evidence given to the jury said the vehicle could only be described as dangerous and should never have been on the road.”
The court was told the vehicle had been driven for five months after sale and at any moment could have been subject to failure which could have risked the customer’s life and the lives of other road users.
A council spokesperson said: “Trading Standards welcomes the sentence imposed on Alan Lewis, considering the seriousness of the offence and the defendant’s attitude to compliance with the law.
“Trading Standards takes the sale of unroadworthy and misdescribed cars very seriously. Second hand car sales remain the most complained about trade sector and we hope this sends the correct message to unscrupulous businesses”.