Harold Hill fraudster spared jail after making thousands selling faulty motorbike brakes on eBay

A stock image of a motorcycle tyre. Photo: Ajamal/Wikimedia Commons

A stock image of a motorcycle tyre. Photo: Ajamal/Wikimedia Commons - Credit: Archant

A Harold Hill man has become the first person in the UK to be convicted of fraudulently selling defective parts from a recalled vehicle after making thousands of pounds selling faulty motorcycle brake cylinders online.

James Read, aged 48, of Morris Road, was sentenced on Wednesday, January 24, 2019 at Harrow Crown Court.

He had previously pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud at an erarlier hearing.

Read was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment suspended for a year and 200 hours of unpaid work, and was ordered to pay £5,000 in investigation costs.

Between June 2016 and November 2017, Read sold 99 defective Suzuki master brake cylinders for £60 on the internet using the pseudonym ‘isabella0107’.

Suzuki GB were alerted when an eagle eyed member of the public saw an advert and recognised it as the defective part of a recalled vehicle.

Suzuki referred the case to the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency’s Counter Fraud Investigation Team who worked in partnership with Suzuki GB and eBay, to reveal ‘isabella 0107’ as James Read.

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Although Read worked as a parts manager for a Romford motorcycle dealership, the investigation found no evidence that he had taken parts from recalled vehicles that had come into the dealership where he worked and then sold them on.

He stated that in 2014 he had bought a large number of parts, which included the master brake cylinders, from a breakers yard that was closing down.

Read initially claimed to have been unaware of the safety recall, but then claimed he’d thought he had remedied the defect by cleaning up the brake cylinders, making the parts safe to sell.

This was not the case.

The safety recall, which saw almost 30,000 motorbikes recalled because of a defective brake cylinder, was the largest ever carried out by Suzuki GB and started in November 2013.

During this period, Mr Read sold defective master brake cylinders to buyers in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Finland.

With the assistance of eBay, all have been contacted about the potential danger the defective parts pose.

One of his victims, an experienced amateur motorcycle racer, who bought the part as an upgrade for a racing bike said in a victim statement, “I’m very angry that someone was willing to risk my life in order to make a few pounds’ profit.

“I am grateful that DVSA contacted me and took the defective part.”