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Former Winlaton Mill garage owners fined

Posted on Thursday 28 September 2017

A father and son have been ordered to pay almost £3,000 after misleading people who bought cars off them.

Paul Dennis Burns, of Greely Road, Westerhope, and his son, Paul Joseph Burns, of Shillaw Place, Burradon, both pleaded guilty to offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Companies Act 2006 in relation to two cars sold from their car business in Winlaton Mill.

In November 2016 a Fiat Punto was sold to a consumer which broke down after a week. The car was sold with a receipt which said that all cars were sold as seen, no warranty was ever given and that no refund would be given in any circumstance. The receipt also didn’t give the name of the father and son so the customer was unable to identify who has sold the car.

Around the same time a VW Polo was advertised on Gumtree stating that it was “in good condition all round” and had a mileage of 86,000 miles. The car had only been driven 70 miles when the cam belt broke, causing the engine to seize. It was then discovered that the car had also been clocked and had in fact travelled in excess of 135,000 miles.

Paul Dennis Burns and his son Paul Joseph Burns traded as Winlaton Mill Garage at Spa Well Road in Winlaton for several months until the business closed in December 2016. Both pleaded guilty to offences at Gateshead Magistrates’ Court. Paul Dennis Burns was fined £675 and ordered to pay costs of £250 and compensation of £600. Paul Joseph Burns was fined £562 and ordered to pay costs of £250 and compensation of £594.73.

Anneliese Hutchinson, Service Director for Development, Public Protection and Highways said:  “Deliberately misleading purchasers on important information such as the mileage and condition of a car is a criminal offence.  In this case nearly 50,000 miles was taken off the mileage for one car, giving the impression that it was mechanically sound and worth more than it actually was.

“Trading standards play a critical role in ensuring innocent consumers are not ripped off by unscrupulous traders.”