Prison for mechanic who sold parts to customers but never sent them

Image: West Yorkshire Police.

He began targeting customers just weeks after being made the subject of a community order for similar offences

A mechanic has been found to have scammed customers into paying for spare car parts that they would never get.

David Bray had failed to provide engines to customers who had bought and in August 2017 was made the subject of a 12-month community order – just weeks later, he was found to be up to his old tricks.

Prosecutor Jade Edwards told Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday Bray had taken a man’s van in for repair but then sold it on to another customer.

She told the court Bray offered to pay the man £3,500 for it but this never happened.

It was sold on for £2,650 to another man who found it had a stolen marker on it.

In 2018 when a man’s Ford Transit broke down he looked on Facebook Market Place to find another engine.

Bray messaged the man and told him he had an engine for sale and sent a picture of it.

The man could not afford the engine but contacted Bray again the following March and was told that he no longer had that engine but another one which would cost £600.

Between February 2019 and March the same year, Bray conned another man, this time a retired man who spent his spare time buying vehicles and repairing them.

Between November the same year and November 2020, Bray targeted another man who owned a business in Gateshead who had posted an advert on Transit City and said he wanted to buy a specific engine.

In each case, the parts did not turn up.

His Honour Judge Tom Bayliss jailed Bray for two-and-a-half-years for fraud and four counts of theft.

He told him that within two weeks of the order he offended again.

The judge said: “It’s sophisticated in its own way because you made use of the business to commit these offences but it was plainly planned.

“You have got to go to prison as the community order didn’t bring it home to you that offending of this nature will not be tolerated.”

Bray was also handed a 28-day sentence for failure to surrender.

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