Warrington garage owner jailed for dangerous repair

By Staff
2 Min Read

The owner of a Warrington garage has received a 12-month sentence after an investigation led by the trading standards service of a local council.

In August 2022, a customer took her car to Performance Northwest on Guardian Street, Warrington, where owner Lee Hill agreed to install a new exhaust for £1,500.

However, shortly after driving away, the customer noticed steam coming from the rear of the vehicle and discovered fuel leaking from underneath.

When examined by a breakdown recovery mechanic, it was found that the exhaust had been improperly installed, positioned directly beneath the fuel tank, causing heat damage and resulting in a significant hole in the tank.

Although Hill promised to fix the exhaust and replace the fuel tank, he only repaired the old tank, misleading the customer about the replacement.

Following an inquiry by Warrington Trading Standards, the case reached a conclusion in Liverpool Crown Court on March 22.

Hill pleaded guilty to supplying an unsafe product under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and misleading the consumer about the replacement fuel tank under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The judge, prior to sentencing, highlighted the evident danger posed by the initial repair, ruling that Hill had returned the vehicle to the customer in a dangerous state, risking fuel leakage which could endanger other motorists and potentially cause a fire.

Despite ruling that compensation should be provided to the customer, neither the company nor Hill possessed the necessary funds.

Hill received a 12-month prison sentence for misleading the consumer and an additional eight months for supplying the vehicle in a dangerous condition.

Though the judge considered suspending the sentence due to its impact on Hill’s family, it was ultimately deemed inappropriate, and the sentence was to be served immediately.

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