Health and Safety Manager convicted over sale of fake car service records

A health and safety manager has been found guilty of producing fake car service histories after a successful prosecution led by Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team.

Paul Skidmore, 32, of Church Road, Pencoys, Fourlanes near Redruth ran an on-line stationery business alongside his main employment as a Health and Safety Manager for a local clothing company.

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However, Truro Magistrates Court heard that in the summer of 2017 Skidmore started to produce fake car servicing history records in response to requests from customers on Ebay.

In July 2018 Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards became aware of Skidmore’s illegal sales after test purchases were made by the Ford Motor Company and by the Vauxhall/Peugeot Group.

An entry warrant was executed at Skidmore’s home address and records were recovered that showed he had sold over 1,500 fake service histories and made over £9,000 in just ten months.

Skidmore, who had no previous convictions, told the court that he was genuinely sorry for what he had done and that by July 2018 he had almost been expecting a knock at the door after being warned by Ebay that he was selling trade mark infringing items.

Nevertheless, Magistrates said that the offences were so serious that a custodial sentence could well have been imposed.

However, instead, Skidmore was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid community service, to pay a fine of £500, a victim surcharge of £85 and to meet the Council’s full investigation and prosecutions costs of £8613.08

Cllr Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, explained the mischief involved.

He said: “Ordinarily, Cornwall Council would condemn the sale of counterfeit goods as a threat to genuine businesses and the people they employ. 

“However, in this case the fake service histories could only have been used to facilitate car sales, either to increase the price of the car because of an apparent service history, or to mask high mileages travelled or poor servicing and maintenance.

“Such offending puts unsuspecting purchasers at great risk and I welcome this successful prosecution and hope that it serves as a warning to anyone else tempted to do the same.”

 Posted May 23, 2019