A MECHANIC who drove a car he was meant to be working on to London has been sentenced to a community order.
Andrew Lee Gaydon, of Hanwell, London, accepted £60 from a car owner in Coedpoeth to service and MOT a Peugeot 206.
But four days later the car was recovered in London.
Gaydon, 22, admitted taking the car at a hearing at Wrexham Magistrates Court.
He also admitted to three counts of fraud – namely pretending he was James Wood, a former employee of Prospects, a young persons’ care home in Wrexham, in order to gain items from industrial suppliers FWB, a firm based on Five Crosses Industrial Estate, Minera. In total he managed to write invoices for items worth £887.28 from FWB, after convincing them he was Mr Wood.
He was given a 12-month community order, with a 12-month supervision requirement, and 140 hours’ unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £887.28 to FWB and £160 to the owner of the Peugeot, which has been recovered but remains in London.
Gaydon was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge.
Justin Espie, prosecuting, said Gaydon, a qualified mechanic who specialises in Rolls Royce engines, had agreed to service the car for the owner, who he knew personally, for £60, to include an MOT.
Gaydon, who now lives in London but had been living in Wrexham for about 12 years, found an issue with the exhaust and told the owner there would be a delay on the vehicle’s return for two days, which was the following Monday, January 20.
On the day Gaydon drove the Peugeot to his sister’s house in London, having heard his father had been taken ill.
The vehicle’s owner reported the car missing and the Metropolitan Police arrested Gaydon at his sister’s address later that day.
Elzbeth Kenny, defending, said Gaydon “wasn’t thinking straight” when he took the vehicle.
Ms Kenny said the car was still parked outside the London address and expressed regret at the fact it had not been returned to the owner by the Metropolitan Police.
Mr Espie also told the court how Gaydon, who was brought up in Wrexham through Prospects young care home, had obtained identification belonging to Mr Wood, a former employee at Prospects.
He went to FWB on November 8 and convinced them he was Mr Wood, before filling out invoices and taking industrial products ranging in value from £93.22 to £611.56, over a week-long period.
In an act known as “confidence fraud”, Gaydon took the items before handing them onto a third party.
Ms Kenny said the third party had “bullied” him into committing the offences.
She said her client had not gained financially from the thefts, but confirmed the items had not been recovered.
Mr Espie said FWB had been the losers in this incident, as Prospects had refused to honour the invoices.