TWO motor traders who concealed a cloned car from police during an investigation have appeared in court.
Lee Bray and Lee Bradshaw, both 35, did not know a Range Rover Spirit they bought to sell on had been cloned when the car was brought into Portsmouth Docks from Santander.
Preston Crown Court heard the men carried out checks on the car’s history which did not reveal anything untoward and a police officer who stopped the vehicle as it came into the country was also unable to find anything unlawful about it.
However the officer seized the vehicle’s V5 log book and further investigations revealed the car had been stolen from Oldham in March 2010.
Bray, of Higher Bank Road, Fulwood, and Bradshaw, of Warren Drive, Thornton Cleveleys, were informed of this information but arranged for the car to be stored in a shed in Longton rather than returned to its rightful owner.
The court heard both men had worked in the motor trade, buying vehicles, improving them and selling them on through well known magazines and websites and had good reputations as honest and trustworthy dealers.
Recorder Anna Vigers, sentencing, said: “When police alerted you to the difficulties with this vehicle, both of you instead of choosing to be honest, chose to protect yourselves and the £3,000 that had been invested in it, rather than accepting that it had been cloned and should be returned to its rightful owner.”
She ordered both men to carry out 80 hours of unpaid community work and pay a statutory surcharge to the court.