'Greedy' mechanic banned from MOT testing for fraud

A 'greedy' mechanic who lied about MOT testing a vehicle while it was in Spain has been dealt with by the courts.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 10:55 am

Jamie Smith of Rookhill Road, Pontefract claimed to have completed the test and issued a pass certificate for a Mercedes-Benz C van at a garage in West Yorkshire when it had been seized by Spanish police for not having valid tax or MOT.

The van was one of nine vehicles Smith falsely issued MOT certificates for.

Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) notified the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) on June 2 last year to make them aware that a vehicle they suspected was in Spain had been issued a MOT in the UK.

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Smith lied about nine vehicles having MOTs.

Spanish Police confirmed the vehicle had been seized and impounded at the time of the MOT.

Part of the investigation also involved a search of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) network between the dates the vehicle was supposedly tested. The search provided no hits of the vehicle being on the UK road network at the time.

The vehicle was actually in a compound over 1,200 miles away from where it was supposed to have been tested on May 24, 2021.

Further investigations revealed that there were a further eight vehicles, including four vans, which had been issued MOT certificates by Smith, without ever having been at the garage.

The certificates were issued between January 15 and June 5, 2021.

Having initially denied the offences, when presented with the evidence, Smith admitted to the counts and to having received payment for the fraudulent MOTs.

Smith was sentenced to a 12-month community order to include 50 hours of unpaid work, a curfew from 7am to 7am for two months and ordered to pay full costs totalling £1,620 at Kirklees Magistrates Court.

He was also given the full five-year cessation by the DVSA, banning him from testing vehicles.

MOT test checks if vehicles meet road safety and environmental standards.

Most MOTs are carried out by around 60,000 privately employed nominated MOT testers carrying out tests in around 23,000 testing stations around Great Britain.

The DVSA monitors the industry closely and acts on poor and fraudulent practice.

DVSA’s Caroline Hicks said: “Mr Smith had no way of knowing the condition of the vehicles. His greed put the safety of drivers and the public danger.

“We will ensure that anyone who compromises safety in pursuit of personal gain feels the full force of the law.”