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Chingford motor dealer hit for six grand

A man uncovered using his home to run a car sales business, and the residential street he lived in as a car park and sales forecourt, has been hit with £6,000 of fines and costs.


Following complaints from neighbours about vehicles being exposed for sale on the highway, Waltham Forest Council turned its attention to Connaught Motor Company, based at a residential address in Hortus Road, Chingford.


Connaught Motor Company used the Auto Trader website to advertise vehicles for sale and before going to Hortus Road the Council checked the registrations on the site. Of the 19 online, 12 were discovered parked in Hortus Road and surrounding streets and accordingly Waltham Forest Council sent a letter to the owner of the business, Graham Sheekey, requesting that he get in contact with them.


With no response forthcoming, the Council made arrangements to visit two local residents in order to take impact statements from them regarding the sale of vehicles in Hortus Road and the surrounding streets in Chingford. They also carried out another check on the Auto Trader website in August and this time 20 vehicles were found advertised for sale by Connaught Motor Company. A visit later that day revealed 14 of them to be parked in the vicinity.


This time however, Mr Sheekey responded to the subsequent email from the Council and on 29 August 2013 he attended council offices for an interview under caution. During the course of the interview Mr Sheekey confirmed that he recognised the vehicles photographed by the officer and had at some time offered them for sale. While he disputed the fact, Council officers pointed out to him that the sale/offering for sale of each vehicle was a separate offence and after the interview emailed Mr Sheekey the relevant legislation.


Despite the Council’s best efforts, it was not long before a further complaint from a local resident was received and on 10 October the Council yet again investigated the Auto Trader website and saw that there were 17 vehicles advertised by Connaught Motor Company.  That same day the officer went out and found 12 vehicles on the highway. As a result Waltham Forest Council’s Legal Services Team progressed the matter to a prosecution.


The Court found him guilty and subjected him to a £400 fine for each of the 12 offences. On top of the £4,800 in fines Mr Sheekey was ordered to contribute £1,160 towards costs and pay a victim surcharge of £40, making a grand total of £6,000.



 

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