A Trethomas car firm has been fined £12,000 by magistrates after it was prosecuted by Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Trading Standards.
Officials visited Evolution Cars Ltd, at Newport Road, Trethomas, in September last year, along with an independent motor engineer and examined vehicles offered for sale to ensure they were safe.
Tests found one of the vehicles, a 53 plate Renault Clio, to be in a dangerous condition due to its handbrake not working.
At a hearing at Newport Magistrates’ Court on Friday, March 31, company directors Osman Yasin and Tariq Mogel admitted an offence contrary to the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and were fined £12,000. It was also ordered to pay £1,130.15 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £170.
During the case, the court was told the company had received cautions in 2015 and 2016 for similar offences, and that the company had previously been advised by both Caerphilly and Cardiff Trading Standards about the importance of ensuring all vehicles were safe. The court was told that one of these occasions was just three months before this offence was committed.
Caerphilly County Borough Council said that while being interviewed by its Trading Standards officers, company director Mr Yasin indicated that safety checks were carried out by members of staff who had no formal mechanical training or qualifications.
In delivering her sentence, chair of the magistrates’ bench Wendy Doble said: “The culpability in this case is high – that the company used unqualified staff to do the work of mechanics, and that they had had previous advice on their systems.”
The chair gave credit to the company for pleading guilty, reducing the fine from £18,000 to £12,000.