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Car dealer gets suspended prison sentence after misleading sales of insurance write-offs

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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A car salesman who conned customers into buying written off vehicles has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay compensation to his victims.

Mark Woodall persistently advertised vehicles for sale without making it known to the buyer that they were insurance write-offs.

The 46-year-old would then only include the information in the sales invoice in small print.

Woodall, who traded under the name ‘Marwoods Trade Centre’ on Alberto Street in Stockton, pleaded guilty in August to the 18 charges brought against him.

He appeared at Teesside Crown Court for sentencing on Friday (September 24), where he was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £3,095 in compensation to his victims and £2,615 costs.

He was also ordered to complete 200 hours’ unpaid work, 20 rehabilitation activity days, and pay a £156 victim surcharge.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Trading Standards team first made contact with Woodall in January 2016 and gave specific advice on the law on clearly advertising if a vehicle is written off.

This was followed by a warning in July 2016 and a final warning in July 2018.

But Woodall carried on misleading customers and 17 different vehicles were advertised illegally, mostly on eBay, between November 2019 and December 2020.

Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, said: “This is the culmination of some great work by the Council’s Trading Standards team.

“Mr Woodall had plenty of opportunity to change his ways but unfortunately he kept on deceiving innocent members of the public. I hope this sentence will deter others from flouting the law in place, which is there for a reason.

“Don’t forget if you’re worried about a consumer or business, you can contact the Council’s Trading Standards team on 01642 526560 or by emailing [email protected].”

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