A CAR seller who altered car mileage and removed a dashboard light from a BMW so it would stop showing a fault was ordered to pay compensation to his victims.

Ryan Perry, 30, of Brynglas Court, in Newport, advertised the BMW X3 online in Autotrader, where it caught the attention of a “young lady” in Poole, Helen Woodward, prosecutor Hywel Hughes told Cardiff Crown Court.

Miss Woodward travelled up to buy the car in July 2012, but when she took it for a test drive noticed there was a light on the dashboard.

Perry paid for her to stay in Wales overnight, promising to repair the problem.

The next day it appeared the problem had been fixed – but in fact Perry had just removed the lightbulb, the court heard.

Miss Woodward paid the balance of £8,114.50 but realised the fraud when the car lost power, said Mr Hughes.

Miss Woodward had to pay £1,800 to make the car roadworthy, the court heard.

Perry was also sentenced for selling two Seat Leons after rolling back the mileage to almost half of what it actually was in December 2012, and in March 2013, he sold a car, claiming it had done 65,411 miles when it had done 126,570.

“The service history that went with the vehicle had been altered so any pages containing a reference to a service above 65,000 had been removed entirely,” Mr Hughes, prosecuting on behalf of Newport Trading Standards, said.

Perry then repeated the mileage trick to sell a second Seat Leon in March 2013, the court heard.

Judge Philip Richards said: “He has a lot of potential but he has behaved criminally and fraudulently. This was serious offending and it is thoroughly deserving of prison.”

Perry admitted five counts of fraud, two counts of making an article for use in fraud and one count of failing to surrender.

Judge Richards told Perry he must pay compensation to the buyers who lost out from his crimes, with £1,800 to Miss Woodward and £500 to each Seat Leon buyer, as well as £960 in prosecution costs.

He also imposed a suspended prison sentence of 21 weeks for the fraud involving the BMW, as well as concurrent sentences of 16 weeks for each fraud involving a Seat Leon and eight weeks for failing to surrender. He also ordered Perry to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and imposed a supervision order.