An Indian-origin man who ran a parking company at Heathrow airport and was found to use customers’ cars for personal use has been sentenced to jail and fined after he pleaded guilty to the scam.
Devinder Singh, 30, pleaded guilty to the three offences of driving while disqualified; driving without insurance; and taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent. He was interviewed by the police after one of his customers complained about the use of her car while away on holiday.
When the customer collected the vehicle, she noticed it was clean, the setting was in the "off-road" position - which was never used - and there was less fuel. Also the mileage had changed significantly, Scotland Yard said.
A tracking device was fitted to the vehicle which showed the car being parked at various addresses including Singh's home while the customer was away.
On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to all the offences at Ealing Magistrates' court and was sentenced to six weeks prison, suspended for a year, a five-year disqualification from driving and ordered to pay £350 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
Singh had previously been convicted of similar driving offences in relation to his business and has received a number of suspended sentences.
Detective Inspector Ian Robinson of Aviation policing said: "This was a betrayal of his customer's trust by brazenly using their cars while they were away on holiday without their knowledge”.
“He would have continued to do this had he not been caught. The travelling public must be careful to use reputable companies when leaving their motor vehicles whilst travelling from Heathrow Airport.”