Car sale plan backfires in owner's fine

23:00, Jan 24 2013

A Palmerston North factory hand has admitted making a complaint to police about a stolen car that wasn't stolen.

Paul Bertrim Manley, 32, owned a 1997 Subaru Impreza, worth $12,000, but last year decided to sell it.

So, as the Palmerston North District Court heard yesterday, he gave it to a mate to hock off. However, the mate sold the car and kept the cash.

"[Manley] made numerous attempts to contact the associate to collect the money, without success," police prosecutor Sergeant Stu Oram said.

On June 18 Manley went to the Palmerston North police station and reported the car stolen.

He said it had been taken the day before while he was walking his dog.


Manley's insurance company paid a private investigator to look into the matter and it was eventually discovered that Manley had made a false statement.

"He said he just wanted the police to find his vehicle. He thought by making up a story this would be acted upon quicker."

Defence lawyer Tina Love-Hudson said Manley, who had no previous dishonesty convictions, found himself in a "bind" but now understood his actions were wrong.

"He either just wanted the car back, or the money. He wanted some help with this. Unfortunately he went down the wrong path."

Judge David Smith said that if the car had been sold Manley would not get it back anyway and the only other available option to him was to sue his mate.

Manley was fined $750 and ordered to pay his insurance company $818 reparation.

Manawatu Standard