Fraudulent Seaham car dealer given suspended prison sentence

A CAR dealer failed to supply two high value prestige cars to buyers in the Far East, a court heard.

Mark Edward Davison, who advertised on a website ‘Piston Heads’, was paid £81,500 to buy and ship a Ferrari 308 to a dealer in Hong Kong, in September 2010.

Durham Crown Court heard that after repeatedly putting the buyer off with various excuses, the car was never delivered.

Davison even went to the lengths of purporting to have £121,000 in his bank account to cover for the money he was paid.

But, Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said it emerged that the £121,000 was an uncleared amount paid to his personal account from a former company of which he was a director, Real Boys Toys.

Miss Masters the Real Boys Toys account was previously closed due to bad debts and the cheque failed to clear.

The court was told a second contact in Hong Kong sent Davison £75,000 to purchase and ship out a Ferrari 430 Spyder, in February 2011.

Davison subsequently claimed the owner’s divorce proceedings delayed the release of the car.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said police were contacted, and Davison was arrested and interviewed.

He told police the first transaction was, “a business deal which went wrong”, but claimed he had done nothing wrong.

Miss Masters told the court Davison has a previous conviction for obtaining by deception, in 2008, over fraudulent use of motor company customers’ details to acquire finance.

Davison, 46, of The Meadows, Seaton, in Seaham, County Durham, admitted two counts of fraud and one of perverting the course of justice.

Rod Hunt, mitigating, said Davison has run a legitimate business and the two complainants had previous satisfactory dealings with him.

“You’re not dealing with someone who is a criminal throughout, but something of a Walter Mitty character, who can’t get every deal right.

“It seems to be a case of letting his optimism get the better of him, thinking there is one big deal on the horizon which will bale him out.”

Davison was given a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years, during which he must perform 200-hours’ unpaid work.

Recorder Jonathan Aitken told him: “I accept they started out as legitimate business transactions, but your unrealistic hope of achieving led you to use the money elsewhere, which ultimately made these dealings dishonest.”

Proceeds of crime proceedings will follow at the court, later this year.

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