Warsash car salesman found guilty of fraud charges

GUILTY Nicholas Jukes from Swanwick
GUILTY Nicholas Jukes from Swanwick
The three hand grenades found underneath the lorry. Picture: NCA

UPDATE: Man arrested after guns and grenades found in lorry released by police

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A DODGY second-hand car dealer clocked vehicles to reduce readings by more than 404,000 miles in a scam.

Nicholas Jukes sold six unsuspecting customers cars with a combined mileage purporting to be 505,000 through his firm Fareham Fleet and Finance Ltd in Fleet End Road, Warsash.

The real readings should have read at least 909,594 – a difference of 404,094 miles.

But odometer readings on each car – which are used to record mileage – had been reduced.

A 12-strong jury took two hours and 18 minutes to find Jukes, 44, guilty of six counts of fraud and one count of engaging in a commercial practice which was misleading under the Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations in relation to the sales.

No verdict was given on six alternative charges of engaging in a misleading practice.

Jukes, of Bentham Way, Swanwick, had denied all 13 charges he faced in relation to the ‘clocking’ of the vehicles between June 2008 and June 2009.

Addressing Jukes at Portsmouth Crown Court, Recorder David Melville QC said: ‘I’m going to readmit you to bail with unconditional terms and order a pre-sentence report in this case, so you will have to co-operate with probation.

‘It’s very much in your interests to do so, which I’m sure you understand, and you are to be back here on August 30 here for sentencing.’

He warned Jukes that all sentencing options were open, including prison.

Allegations against Jukes came to light after a customer complained that he believed the odometer on a Vauxhall Astra Merit he bought from Jukes’ car dealership had been clocked.

Trading standards experts from Hampshire County Council launched an investigation into the claims.

Jukes was later arrested and questioned by police.

Jukes is already subject to proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recoup money he made by conning customers.

He must reappear at Portsmouth Crown Court for sentencing on August 30.