Dodgy car dealer jailed

Dean Rosenthal
Dean Rosenthal

A WIGAN second hand car dealer has been jailed for selling death-trap vehicles.

Dean Rosenthal - whose dodgy behaviour was exposed by the Wigan Evening Post - sold one unroadworthy car to a man, who had flown down from Inverness to buy it, despite it actually being dangerous and let him make the perilous 400-mile journey home in it.

That car was not merely unroadworthy it was positively dangerous. You sold it to a man you knew was setting off in it on a 400 mile journey on motorways at the end of November. You turned a blind eye to its dangerous condition

Brian Cummings QC

“That car was not merely unroadworthy it was positively dangerous. You sold it to a man you knew was setting off in it on a 400 mile journey on motorways at the end of November. You turned a blind eye to its dangerous condition.

“Within 40 miles it showed its true nature. It could have resulted in him crashing at speed on a motorway, the consequences do not bear thinking about,” said Judge Brian Cummings, QC, jailing him for eight months.

He told 51-year-old Rosenthal, who has previous convictions for dishonesty including selling an unroadworthy vehicle: “You placed deliberately misleading adverts on eBay, trumpeting their condition and saying they were subject to MOT. You gave the impression they were roadworthy when they were anything but.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Rosenthal specialised in selling Mitsubishis and the cars involved in the case were both Delica models. The first one sold to the customer from Scotland was described in the online advert as being in ‘excellent condition’.

But David Birrell, prosecuting, said that it not only failed an MOT test six days later because of 20 faults but two of them were actually dangerous.

Three months later, in February last year he sold the second car to a man from Shrewsbury and again it was not as described.

When Rosenthal appeared before Wigan magistrates he claimed he no longer traded cars and only sold vehicles for breaking up for parts.

But an under-cover journalist from the Evening Post contacted him four days later and Rosenthal offered to sell him another Delica. When shown the front page of the newspaper at the last hearing the judge commented: “Bluntly he lied to the court.”

He said today that no separate charge related to that incident but because of it “the court must be circumspect about your instructions.”

Rosenthal, of Castle Rise, Hindley, pleaded guilty to five offences involving engaging in commercial practice amounting to a misleading action.

Sentence had been adjourned from last month after he claimed he did not know the true nature of the vehicle he sold to the Scottish man but the court heard today that he had now dropped that claim.

Mr Birrell had told the court that Rosenthal is an experienced motor trader and he had advertised the two cars on eBay under the name Trust Cars North West. On November 29 last year Nicholas Scally flew down from Inverness and after seeing the car bought it for £2,995.

It had been advertised as having a 12-month MOT but after he transferred the money over Rosenthal then told him it only had a three month MOT. He started off on the 390-mile journey home but after just 40 miles it began overheating as the coolant pipe was disconnected and the dashboard electronics were not working.

He managed to get it home but when he rang Rosenthal to complain he rejected his claim that it was defective. Mr Scally had it MOT’d and it failed and despite having been told the underside had been sealed it was found to be dangerously corroded.

Rosenthal refused to refund the money unless he brought it back and in February this year sold another Delica to another man, Stephen Walker from Shrewsbury, for £3,500. This involved £900 cash and the man’s VW Golf part-exchanged for £2,700, said Mr Birrell.

It was advertised as having done 100,000 miles on the clock and after the transaction Rosenthal did not give him a chance to road test it but drove off grinning in the VW. Mr Walker discovered it had about 40,00 more miles than advertised and would not start and he had to call out the AA.

When contacted by phone Rosenthal refused a refund. “He was aggressive and hung up” said Mr Birrell.

He arranged for it to be MOT’d and it failed and Rosenthal still refused a refund and said he had sold the VW. Mr Walker later had to spend £500 to make it roadworthy.

The court heard that Mr Scully obtained a civil court judgement against Rosenthal but has not got his money back and nor has Mr Walker.

The court heard that Rosenthal has since been trading on eBay selling car parts under the name JAP Parts Only One - despite not having a licence to run such a business.

The judge said that as Rosenthal was made bankrupt last May it was doubtful that the two customers would get recompense.