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Car dealer is jailed for 15 months

Motorhouse in Chorley.

Motorhouse in Chorley.

The boss of a second-hand car dealership has been jailed after admitting stealing cars.

Howard Lowick, who ran Motorhouse, on Bengal Street, Chorley, pleaded guilty to the theft of five cars and was jailed for 15 months by Preston Crown Court.

Lowick, 59, of Lichen Close, Charnock Richard, also asked for six other offences to be taken into consideration by the judge.

Police launched an investigation in October 2012 after being contacted by people who had taken their car to Motorhouse on a sale or return basis.

They claimed the business had closed without them being paid or getting their cars back.

Brian Winstanley, of Pilling Lane, Chorley, was among those affected and was in court to see Lowick sentenced.

He wanted to sell his £5,100 Audi TT car and went to Motorhouse after seeing a sign saying they would buy cars for cash.

He said Lowick did not want to buy his car, but instead offered to find a buyer for him.

Mr Winstanley, 52, left his car and logbook but did not hear anything from Lowick. When he returned, the garage was empty.

Mr Winstanley said: “It has been a fight from there on. It’s been a nightmare.

“I was shocked. It was really distressing, not only for me but for my entire family.

“We were renovating a house and I had used the last bit of money I had to buy a new car on the strength of him telling me he could sell it.”

Brian’s logbook was found at the garage and his insurance company paid out earlier this month.

He said: “Hopefully now we have got the money, we can put it behind us.”

The investigation into Lowick was led by DC Andy Woodward, who says vehicles worth around £100,000 were involved in the case.

He said: “We have come out with a positive result, giving the victims the assurance we have done everything we can.”

“It’s been a difficult investigation that has taken a long time.

“I’m pleased with the outcome for the victims.”

 

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