A fraudster held Beacon Garage’s courtesy car hostage for almost five months while falsely claiming insurers would pay the estimated £8,000 bill for fully fixing his Land Rover.
Exeter Crown Court was told that serial offender Paul Watkins had also bought a £17,000 BMW from an online dealership using a friend’s personal details, which he had stolen.
The first the friend knew of the fraud was when he received details of the £480 per month finance payments for which he had become liable.
The court was told that Watkins scammed Beacon Garage in Ottery by giving a false name and persuading the Land Rover specialist to provide a loan car while his extensive repairs were done.
A string of parking tickets raised the alarm at the garage, which ceased work when the owner realised Watkins was using a false name.
But Watkins refused to pay the £810 bill for the work already done, and he clung on to the courtesy car for five months, reports the Sidmouth Herald.
In the other case, Watkins copied driving licence and bank account details while house-sitting for a friend, and used the identity information to scam an online dealership into delivering a BMW on credit.
Watkins admitted five counts of fraud relating to the 2019 and 2020 offences and was jailed by judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court for two years and one month.
The court was told that Watkins has serious health problems and has stayed out of trouble for three years.
As editor, Tim is responsible for the media content, planning and production of AM’s multiple channels (AM print and digital magazines, website, social media and contributing to our events planning). He interviews and writes about as many franchised dealer groups and UK divisions of motor manufacturers as possible, to explore the issues facing UK motor retail and understand what solutions dealers and suppliers are using to overcome these.
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