Heartache for Cleveleys dog owner over death trap campervan sold by Cabus garage

A woman has told how she was days from using a ‘death trap’ converted campervan she was sold to travel hundrerds of miles to a music festival.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 5:18 pm

Joanna Reeve, 46, from Cleveleys, used all her hard earned savings at Red Rose Garage on Lancaster New Road, Cabus, near Preston, to buy her dream campervan to transport her five dogs and her partner Stephen to the Ramblin Man Festival in Kent.

Delighted Joanna and Stephen posed for pictures in the van prior to leaving a deposit, with salesman Dominic Holmes standing by and posting on Facebook about how excited they were.

The couple even rushed out and bought a kettle and an awning for their new purchase.

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The campervan was a death trap

But days later they were horrified when mechanics phoned and asked them to look at the vehicle whilst it was up on the ramps having a service, having found the front seats were insecure.

The civil servant said: “ I was so upset when I saw the extent of the damage that I had to leave in a hurry and leave it with them, as I went home and burst into tears.

“It was months of stress and worry and uncertainty. I am angry that a supposedly well established, trustworthy businessman can so easily take my money, which is pocket money to him, and sit on it for months.

“When my service revealed it was unsafe, I was horrified that I had driven this vehicle with myself and my partner into Lancaster and down the motorway at 70mph, unaware that if involved in a crash not only would the seatbelts not work but the seats were not secured."

The campervan

She added: “I have vowed never to purchase another campervan because the experience has left me way too mistrustful.

“It took me a long time to save the money to pay for it and then I handed it over to a crook whose hand I shook.

“I currently feel very bitter and exploited and I will never trust a salesman ever again.”

Following a probe by Lancashire Trading Standards. Dominic Holmes, 49, of Bryning Lane, Wrea Green, Preston, pleaded guilty to supplying an unroadworthy Daihatsu Extol on June 17 last year, and deceiving customers with false website claims that the garage was approved by a public body.

Holmes received a two year conditional discharge at Preston Magistrates’ Court and must pay £2,930.77 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.