Hornchurch car dealer allowed pregnant mum to drive away in dangerous Mini Cooper following private sale
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
A car salesman who sold a pregnant mother a Mini which could have fallen apart if she braked too hard is facing a hefty fine.
Presley Ogbondah, 33, allowed the woman to drive away with the potential death trap, despite suspecting it had been in an accident.
Ogbondah runs MPH Cars, in Billet Lane, Hornchurch but sold the Mini privately after buying it for his girlfriend.
The car had no airbag on the driver’s side, the seat was not secured, and it had been repaired so poorly an emergency stop could have ripped the body work apart. But Ogbondah, who allowed Kai Priestley’s pregnant wife to drive off with the car after he sold it in Tower Hamlets, east London.
She noticed it was veering off to the left when driving home down the motorway, and took it to a garage when she arrived home in Oxford.
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A mechanic told her the 2003 Mini Cooper was too dangerous to drive and advised her to contact police.
Mr Priestley said in a statement read out at Snaresbrook Crown Court: “I am absolutely disgusted that someone could sell a car in that state to a young family.
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“I feel sick thinking that my wife and unborn child could have had such a serious accident.”
Prosecutor Pauline Thompson said: “The rear form of the car should have been fastened by four bolts, but was in fact only fastened by two and one was in an incorrect position.
“As a result, in the event of emergency braking the rear form could have pulled away from the car causing the driver to lose control.
“Both front tyres were so damaged that there was a complete lack of tread making it difficult to control.
“The front airbag was missing on the driver’s side and the seat lock was faulty, leaving the seat prone to fall forwards.”
Ogbondah admitted he suspected the car had been in an accident from the shape of the bodywork, but said he did not know the extent of the damage.
Judge Nicholas Huskinson ordered him to pay £3,300 compensation to the Priestleys before May 10, and warned him he could be jailed if he does not.
He faces a fine of up to £20,000 regardless of whether he pays the compensation.
Ogbondah, Kettlebaston Road, Leyton, east London, admitted one count of selling unsafe products.