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Halfords employee who 'did MOTs in five minutes' guilty of faking for friend

Stafford | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A Halfords employee has been found guilty of providing a fake MOT certificate for his friend.

Philip Thornton of Tixall Road, Stafford, was tried in his absence at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on Monday.

Magistrates found him guilty of one count of issuing a false test certificate for a Mercedes vehicle within minutes of hearing the evidence against him.

Prosecuting on behalf of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Anton Balkitis said: “This matter came to light when an examiner was alerted by a vehicle owner that they had received their MOT test certificate.

“The information provided to him suggested that the test had issued a pass certificate to the vehicle without it being inspected by him.”

Mr Balkitis explained that 30 tests carried out by Thornton were done in five minutes, when they should usually take 30 to 60 minutes each. However, he was only prosecuted for one of these incidents, all of which took place at Halfords Autocentre in Greyfriars, Stafford.

The prosecution added: “He was asked about this and explained that he had done this for a series of friends.”

Magistrate David Rowe ordered Thornton to pay the DVSA’s investigation and legal costs of £1,594. He was also ordered to pay a court fine of £660 and a victim surcharge of £66.

A spokesman for Halfords said: “At Halfords Autocentres we perform thousands of MOT tests every week and the integrity of this work is critical to us and our customers. The colleague involved left the business in February 2019.

"We worked closely with the DVSA to identify any vehicles that may have been issued with a certificate. We are confident that this is an isolated case.”

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