A Limavady car dealer was sentenced at Limavady Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to selling or offering for sale six ‘clocked’ cars to consumers.
In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service (TSS), DETI, Michael Alexander Gahan, formerly of Petrie Place, Limavady - now residing in Co.Donegal - was given 100 hours community service each for two charges under The Fraud Act 2006 (to run concurrently) as well as being fined £1,100 for offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and a further charge under The Fraud Act. Gahan was also ordered to pay a total of £5,500 in compensation to his victims.
The investigation arose following a consumer complaint alleging Gahan was selling clocked vehicles. Investigations revealed Gahan had sold four vehicles to consumers who had no idea the cars they had purchased had their mileages altered. Gahan also offered a further clocked car for sale to two Trading Standards Officers as well as advertising a sixth clocked car for sale on the Used Cars NI website. One consumer bought a second-hand vehicle with around 70,000 miles on the odometer from Gahan in November 2010 after seeing an advert in the Autotrader magazine. The consumer later discovered it had been clocked, having a previously recorded mileage of 145,000 miles when sold at an auction house in England in September 2010. A further car sold by Gahan had a previous mileage of 168,996 miles reduced to 76,000 while another had been altered from at least 166,862 miles down to 72,000 miles. A fourth clocked car was sold to another consumer. Damien Doherty of the TSS said Gahan’s case was“one of the worst cases of car clocking that the Department has seen for many years”.