Sentencing for car salesman adjourned

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 17:44 20/03/2014

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A Mount Maunganui car salesman convicted of making false and misleading representations about cars sold at his yard has had his sentencing adjourned.

Alan Spiers was due to be sentenced in the Auckland District Court today, more than three years after the Commerce Commission began investigating the former Mount Auto Court director's dealings.

Following closing submissions by the defence and prosecution, Judge Philippa Cunningham adjourned the court until April 1.

She said she hoped to deliver a written judgment before that date.

Earlier this year Spiers pleaded guilty to 11 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act by providing false and misleading representation about vehicles.

His finance company, MAC Warranties, was also convicted of 17 breaches of the act.

Prosecution lawyer Alysha McClintock submitted a $110,000 to $120,000 starting point penalty for the Fair Trading Act offences.

"This is not a case of a new inexperienced business that made isolated and technical mistakes that can be categorised as careless," she said.

"This business made and broke its own rules ... in terms of how it was going to approach vehicle valuations for repossessed vehicles."

Defence counsel Jenny Stevens said both Spiers and MAC regretted the fact they were now appearing before the court.

"They do unreservedly apologise for any stress that has been caused to debtors, who are after all valued customers of MAC," she said.

Stevens also pointed out the defendants had voluntarily come up with and enacted their own compensation scheme for victims.

Spiers has also gained notoriety for assaulting Fair Go reporter Gordon Harcourt during the television show's investigations in 2011, leaving Harcourt with a black eye and bloodied nose. Spiers was convicted and fined for that incident.


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- Fairfax Media

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