A south of England car dealer was jailed last week for ripping off customers in a string of bogus deals.
After Strouds Motor Specialists in Fordingbridge went bust in 2006 with debts of £650,000, an investigation by receivers and the police discovered that owner Colin Stroud had defrauded customers who never received their cars.
Southampton Crown Court heard that on one occasion, less than three weeks before Stroud petitioned for bankruptcy, he had banked a cheque for £23,205 from a customer who test drove a Toyota HiLux Vigo pick-up and wanted to buy it. The vehicle was never delivered.
Stroud was convicted of six counts of theft and two of an “evasion of liability”, and was jailed for two years.
Now the thing that interests me most about this story is this man’s mitigation statement;
“Stroud was a man of previous good character” (he hadn’t been caught before) and “his offences were born of criminal recklessness not of greed” (I wonder how the guy who is light to to the tune of £23,205 and minus one Toyota HiLux sees it?).
He also “did not accept that he had been dishonest”!!!