A car wash worker wrecked a customer’s classic Mercedes Benz during a 60-mile joyride after being assigned a “super valet,” a court in England has heard.
Omid Abas, 41, caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to the rare 1992 Mercedes 550E, claiming he lost control while trying to avoid a mouse running across the road.
Owner Kevin Murphy, 77, returned to collect the vehicle, one of 29 models imported into the UK, and he discovered that he had practically lost himself in the crash with one wheel remaining almost horizontal.
Abas had taken the car to a 90-minute commute from his place of work in Runcorn, Cheshire, to his home in Stockport, Greater Manchester and back again.
Iranian-born Abas, who failed a driving test in the UK, he crashed the car just five miles from where he was supposed to return it.
In a statement, the vehicle’s owner, Mr Murphy, said the 30-year-old blue car, which has around 42,000 kilometers on the dashboard, was usually driven by a chauffeur, adding: “It was a very prized possession.”
At Warrington Magistrates CourtAbas pleaded guilty to aggravated taking a vehicle and driving without a license or insurance and was banned from driving for 12 months.
The owner of the vehicle said during the trial: “I always did all the maintenance work on Mercedes, I put a lot of time and effort into keeping the car in perfect condition.”
“When I found out about the damage, I was very upset. While I don’t feel vulnerable or intimidated as a result of this, I am now incredibly cautious about who I trust with my vehicles.”he added.
“Currently, I’m not losing because no work has been done, but I expect to pay about $6,177 of my own money, not insurance, to fully repair the vehicle.”he explained.
Despite the hit, Abas and the victim are said to still be on “good terms” and a separate charge of driving without due care and attention has been dropped.
Angela Blackmore, a prosecutor, said Murphy used to leave the prized vehicle at the Runcorn car wash, where valets cost up to $74.
The businessman owns the land on which the car wash is located and did not consent to the vehicle being driven ‘apart from around the yard’ where the car wash is located.
Abas was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for one year.
“Having unlawfully taken the car, he lost control and crashed it causing what is clearly serious damage to the motor vehicle, a vehicle that was clearly prized by its owner and probably has a value to him of more than much greater than its monetary value. ”District Judge Mark Hadfield said.
Abas was ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and pay $263 in legal costs. No compensation order was issued.
Only around 10,500 Mercedes 500Es were built between 1990 and 1995 in collaboration with Porsche. Only 29 of the models were imported into the UK.
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