Trader in court for selling £8,000 death-trap campervan

A borough car dealer sold a campervan for £8,650 despite knowing it was a potential death-trap, a court heard.

Major faults – including defective brakes and wheels that could have come off while it was in motion – were uncovered when it was taken into a garage following a tyre blowout on a day trip.

Dudley Council’s trading standards team were called in to investigate the sale by Paul Hale, who traded as Koolkustoms in Halesowen.

The 50-year-old, of Avenue Road, Rowley Regis, pleaded guilty to fraud and selling a dangerous vehicle at a court hearing in November last year. He appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court last week for sentencing, and was ordered to repay the £8,650 in full and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Hale, who claimed to specialise in campervan conversions, was also sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for two years. He must pay Dudley Council’s £2,500 court costs, along with the forfeiture of the campervan.

The court heard Dudley Trading Standards used an independent vehicle expert to assess the scale of the problem.  

The vehicle expert found it “difficult to believe that work of such a low standard was carried out by a professional company specialising in camper van conversions”. 

The vehicle expert also reported that wheel bolts were too short making it ‘extremely likely’ that a wheel would become detached whilst in motion. There was excessive corrosion in a large number of areas, a defective horn and an unsecured gas cylinder fitted as part of the conversion.

The campervan was sold in August 2020, the court heard. Christopher King, head of trading standards at Dudley Council, said:

"Dudley Trading Standards will not tolerate traders who evade their responsibilities and risk people’s lives by putting dangerous vehicles on the road.

"Traders who expose consumers to risk of harm by selling unroadworthy vehicles will be investigated and are likely to face prosecution."


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