Car dealer with a "history of dishonesty" jailed
A 45-year-old car trader who breached an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) banning him from selling vehicles is back behind bars.
Geoffrey Badlan, trading as Stourbridge Road Motors in Brierley Hill, was jailed for 21 months at Wolverhampton Crown Court last week following a prosecution brought by Dudley Council’s trading standards team.
The ASBO, which barred Badlan from being involved in the sale of any motor vehicle for 10 years, was imposed after he was jailed for 12 months in 2013 for selling a string of unroadworthy and misdescribed cars.
The new case was brought after a woman from Wolverhampton was sold a faulty car by Badlan, who was calling himself ‘Mark’ and advertising under his trading name on an online trading website.
Badlan would not pay for the repairs needed on the faulty car nor give the consumer a refund when she tried to return it.
The court heard she only realised that it was Geoffrey Badlan when a relative googled his company name, which led to online newspaper articles about Badlan’s previous 2013 conviction and pictures of him.
Badlan, of Archer Gardens, Cradley Heath, pleaded guilty to one offence of knowingly or recklessly engaging in a commercial practice which contravened the requirements of professional diligence and two offences of breaching his ASBO order.
In summing up the case, Judge Martin Jackson told Badlan he undertook an “elaborate charade” to hide his involvement in the sale of the car.
The judge added the defendant had a “history of dishonesty” and showed a “flagrant disregard” to the ASBO imposed on him.
As well as the jail term, Badlan was ordered to pay the consumer full compensation of £1,820. A new Criminal Behaviour Order was also imposed which bans Badlan from being involved in the sale or advertising of any motor vehicle for an unlimited period.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said:
Trading Standards officers investigate complaints about unroadworthy and misdescribed second hand vehicles, because it is vital that consumers receive the information they need to make an informed choice about whether to purchase.
In this case, Badlan breached an order banning him from being involved in the sale of cars following previous offences.
He went to great lengths to hide his true identity from his customer, which only added to the distress and inconvenience caused.
We will not hesitate to take action against traders who make misleading actions or omissions which deceive customers, and ultimately may put their safety at risk.