A BUCKLEY man has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds in compensation after his sale of cars online landed him in court.

John Glen Hughes, of Ewloe Place, appeared at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old had previously admitted two counts of theft - one involving his dishonest appropriation of £3,000 belonging to Trevor Jeffrey and the other of a Vauxhall Frontera motor vehicle belonging to Andrea Roberts - and was acquitted of a third following a trial.

Mr Clemo, prosecuting on behalf of Flintshire Council, told the court that in December 2017 the complainant Mr Jeffrey was looking for a second hand car on eBay.

He ended up in contact with the defendant, who agreed a price of £1,500 for a BMW, including £200 for delivery.

The money was sent twice, but Hughes said he'd send back the extra money when the car was delivered.

But the car wasn't delivered, and when Mr Jeffrey kept trying to contact Hughes to ask for a refund, he blocked his number.

When he was interviewed he confirmed he'd sold the car for scrap when the complainant failed to collect it - but Mr Jeffrey had messages making it plain the vehicle was to be delivered.

In March of 2018 the second complainant, Andrea Roberts, was looking to buy a car.

She visited Hughes' premises and saw a Vauxhall Frontera.

The vehicle started with no issues, the court heard, and she paid a deposit of £1,000 there and then.

It was agreed her car be part exchanged for £300, the agreed balance coming to £500.

Hughes promised the vehicle would have undergone an MOT, as well as some other repairs.

She returned later to collect it and pay the balance but on the way home it became apparent that it wouldn't go over 40 miles per hour and struggled up hills.

The next day it took several attempts to start and she took it back to the garage, where she saw the defendant.

After leaving it with him to fix, the problems remained and after attempting to get a refund there followed a "heated exchange" of messages between them.

Hughes messaged her: "you know what, forget it - take me to court or Trading Standards, whatever you want."

Ms Roberts, in a victim impact statement, said after losing her previous car and £1,500 to Hughes she felt like a burden to her family and friends as she had to ask others for help with transport and borrowing money.

This caused her emotional and financial difficulty, the court heard.

Ms Handley, defending, told the court: "He is a man who, as of July 2018, runs the Hope and Anchor Pub [in Buckley] - primarily his wife is the licensee and takes on full responsibility for the finances.

"He has supported many charities and organisations.

"He is now trying to get away from the car trade."

District Judge Gwyn Jones said: "Unsuspecting members of the public appear to trust car sellers, and then only several months down the line come to the view that they may have been conned.

"There's a clear pattern of your not taking responsibility as a car trader and a degree of arrogance in the way in which you treat your customers.

"The responsibility placed on motor traders is significant - if you cannot maintain those high standards, you shouldn't be in the trade."

For the theft of the vehicle from Ms Roberts, Hughes received a 20 week prison sentence, as well as a further 20 week consecutive sentence for the theft of Mr Jeffrey's money.

But the judge suspended the total 40 weeks for a year, ordering the defendant to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay £4,800 in compensation to the complainants and £500 towards prosecution costs.