London: An Indian-origin businessman who ran a car parking service at London's Heathrow airport was on Friday fined and handed a six-week suspended sentence for illegally driving a customer's Range Rover car in her absence.
Devinder Singh, 30, was also banned from driving for five years and ordered to pay 350 pounds (USD 512) in costs and an 80-pound (USD 117) victim surcharge by Ealing Magistrates' Court in London.
"Singh was interviewed under caution after one of his customers complained to police about the use of her car while away on holiday. The customer had left their car, a Range Rover Sport, with Singh's business YesParking.
"His business provided a service for motorists wishing to leave their car in storage while they flew from Heathrow airport," a Scotland Yard spokesperson said.
Singh was convicted of driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and taking a motor vehicle without the owner's consent after he pleaded guilty to all charges, the spokesperson said.
"He also ran another business providing the same service called HeathrowParking 24-7. When the customer collected the vehicle, they 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. A tracking device showed the car being parked at various addresses including Singh's home during the period while the customer was away," the spokesperson said.
Singh was previously convicted for similar driving offences in relation to his business and had received a number of suspended sentences, a legal term implying delaying of incarceration in order to allow the defendant to perform a period of probation.
"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," Detective Inspector Ian Robinson of Aviation policing said....