A dealer who sold dangerous part-worn tyres was today given a suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay £26,000 costs.
Luke McKenzie, who traded at MOSS Tyres on the Springfield Garden Industrial Estate in Grantham, was investigated by trading standards officers following complaints about his business.
Lincoln Crown Court was told that test purchases carried out by Lincolnshire Trading Standards officers revealed that McKenzie was selling defective tyres which could have had lethal consequences.
McKenzie, 50, of Lower Packington Road, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, admitted charges of engaging in unfair commercial practices in relation to the balancing of tyres and supplying an unsafe products. He denied 15 further charges of possessing an unsafe product for sale but was convicted by a jury following a trial.
Today he was given a nine month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.
McKenzie was also ordered to pay £26,210 prosecution costs at the rate of £500 a month.
Recorder Alan Dooley, passing sentence, told him: “The degree of control and care asserted by you in the way in which this business was run on a day to day basis was appalling.
“The seriousness of this lies in the issue of safety. The purpose of the regulations is to prevent exactly what you were doing.”
McKenzie claimed during his trial that he was mainly supplying within the tyre trade and the tyres were for off-road use but his version was rejected by the jury.
Robert Sandford, defending, said McKenzie is a father of seven and faced losing his home if he were given an immediate jail sentence.
He said McKenzie was involved in the Pentecostal Church for whom he did good work.
Mr Sandford said: “The day to day control by the defendant of this business was plainly lacking. Since this he has no longer continued to trade. The business has been taken over by his son.
“The defendant holds the lease to the Moss Trade Centre. He has been obtaining some income by sub-letting various parts of the premises.”
Andy Wright, of Lincolnshire Trading Standards said: “Many of the tyres had serious defects and exhibited accident damage which undermined the basic structure of the tyres. This could have had life-threatening consequences for innocent consumers and their families.
“I am extremely concerned by the reckless attitude to customer safety that seems to be shown by McKenzie. I would urge members of the public to go to a reputable supplier instead. If you have bought tyres from MOSS, please get your car checked at your nearest garage.”