Court in County Antrim hears of 'nasty' car 'clocking'

Court in County Antrim hears of 'nasty' car 'clocking'

A MAN bought an Audi A4 and when he returned bank cards found in the vehicle to a previous owner he learned it had been "clocked" during the period when it was under the ownership of a Larne man which was described by a judge as a "nasty" offence.

Details emerged at Ballymena Magistrates' Court (main picture) where Richard Steele (26), of Recreation Road, was sentenced for fraud by false representation by claiming in February last year the car had done 160,000 miles but the mileage clock had been altered as the car had actually done over 200,000 miles.

The defendant appeared at court via video link from his solicitor's office.

A prosecutor said a man bought an Audi A4 for "£400" and whilst cleaning the vehicle he found bank cards belonging to a previous owner.

When he met with the man to return the cards a discussion took place about the car and the man said he had sold it with '210,000' miles.

The prosecutor said the new owner said he would not have paid £400 had he known the vehicle had done such mileage.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told Steele: "It is quite a nasty thing to clock a car because there is a lot of deception involved and I think you tried to minimise it, according to the author of the pre-sentence report, which doesn't do you credit, nor indeed does your criminal record, you have 29 previous convictions".

He said "luckily" for the defendant he was not in breach of any suspended sentences because had he been he would have had "little or no hesitation" in jailing him.

Steele was ordered to do 180 hours of Community Service.