A COCAINE addict who used his job as an MOT tester to secured certificates for cars sold by his dealers ‘didn’t give a damn’ about the consequences.

Carl Fletcher abused his position up to 100 times in little over two months as his life spiralled out of control due to his drug habit.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the car mechanic was sacked by his own father due to his erratic and unpredictable behaviour.

And Judge Jonathan Carroll lambasted the 36-year-old father-of-two when he passed a 14 month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He said: "You are there to keep you, your wife, your children, the prison officer you're stood next to, my court staff, your dad and everybody else safe by vehicles that are safe going on to public roads.

"You completely and utterly abrogated that responsibility because you were a drug addict. And to feed your own cocaine habit you were prepared to do anything.

"You were prepared to lose your wife and your kids. You were prepared to lose your job with your dad. Imagine that, being sacked by your own dad because of your drug addiction.

"You then took this job and from the off you were working with your drug dealers to get them cars that never saw sight nor sound of the garage.

"You had no idea if they were death traps or not. You didn't give a damn."

The judge added: "Up to 100 vehicles driving around the North-east with not a clue whether the person inside them or people around them are safe.

"I'm prepared to accept they're probably not all dodgy, but I'm prepared to infer that very considerable numbers are.

"What you did was driving a coach and horses through the potential reputation of that garage that's just trying to earn an honest crust."

The court heard how Fletcher's life had gone off the rails due to his addiction and almost cost him his marriage.

Fletcher, of Foster Street, Brotton, admitted 21 offences of fraud at an earlier hearing at magistrates' court.

His barrister, John Nixon, said there was a potential for vehicles to have MOT certificates that would not have passed their test but not every single one.

Mr Nixon said Fletcher was coerced into putting the fraudulent MOTs through by his drug dealers who were exerting significant amounts of pressure on him.

He added that company's reputation was not affected by the fraud as the owner dealt with it swiftly and effectively.