READING COUNCIL successfully prosecuted a Reading man for his unscrupulous car sale activity this week.
Nadeem Younis, age 37, of Sycamore Road Whitley, was sentenced at Reading Magistrates Court on Thursday 8th December, following a two day trial, after being found guilty on three counts of breaching the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
The case dates back to 2011, when Younis advertised on Autotrader and sold a car that had been previously been damaged in an accident, without disclosing the damage to the buyer. The buyer discovered the fault when the car broke down with a water leak to the radiator and a friend noticed replacement parts including the bonnet, as well as buckling to the front of the car. The buyer complained to trading standards, who investigated.
Younis claimed to be a private seller and not a trader. Consumer protection laws only apply to trade sellers. However, the investigation provided evidence that Younis regularly traded cars and had sold 19 cars within the space of 18 months between 14 February 2009 and 25 August 2011, as well as advertising as a trader using the trading name ‘Brookvale’.
In the 2013 trial Younis was acquitted by magistrates on the premise they could not be sure he was a car trader. Reading Council appealed to the High Court on points of law. In October 2015, the High Court found in the Council’s favour and the case was returned to the Magistrates Court for retrial this December. The appeal case is now in the law books as a legal precedent.
In giving judgement Judge Khan said there was “…compelling evidence Younis was a car trader” due to the degree of regularity in his trading. Younis had an account with Autotrader with a trade discount and used a trade name on the receipt and on the DVLA Vehicle Registration Document (when he had bought the car before selling it to the consumer). Younis must have known about the accident damage but chose to disregard it and in order to minimise financial loss did not tell the purchaser about it.
Younis was sentenced to a Conditional Discharge for 12 months and must pay £1,000 towards the Council’s costs in addition to £500 compensation awarded to the victim.
Cllr Paul Gittings, Reading’s Lead Member for Consumer Services, said:
“This man, who had clearly been trading cars for over 18 months, left an unsuspecting buyer out of pocket and with a faulty car and used the excuse of being a ‘private’ seller as a way to avoid fulfilling the buyer’s consumer rights. This is an important case which has changed the law in favour of the consumer.
“I want to congratulate the teams involved for their outstanding work in this investigation and in pursuing the appeal. I hope it acts as a deterrent to other would be unscrupulous traders out there.”