Magistrates in Swansea have confirmed a driving ban for a car-owner who permitted a road-test in which a potential buyer was killed. Mark Saunders was in court on Tuesday to appeal against the 12-month ban he was given for his role in the crash in which Clifford Stroud died.
Mr Saunders had put his silver Ford Mondeo estate up for sale and Mr Stroud came for a look. When Stroud said he would like to take the vehicle for a test-spin, the owner did not check whether the man was insured to drive the vehicle.
During the test-drive, Mr Stroud ran off the road at a bend and smashed into a tree. He was fatally injured in the crash. Saunders was sitting in the passenger seat and had to be cut free from the wreckage. He sustained a dislocated shoulder in the accident.
At the original court hearing, Mr Saunders was given the ban as well as ordered to pay a £150 fine and £620 costs for allowing the use of a vehicle not covered by third-party insurance. As justification for his appeal against the ban, Mr Saunders claimed he had not actively encouraged Clifford Stroud to take the test-drive.
His solicitor, Frank Phillips, alleged Stroud had his heart set on buying the car and wanted to take it for a spin. He continued by saying his client was not driving or responsible for the victim’s actions and the ban was unfair.
Denying the motion, Judge Peter Heywood stated that he had listened to the defence’s case but noted that there was a fatality in the accident and also the defendant had a string of prior driving convictions. According to the AA, most second-hand car-dealers take out insurance for people to take test-drives whereas the average personal car insurance does not cover this.