Monday, 25 March 2013

The Straw That Broke Me, and BC Cars!


My Dad had been dead for 19 years but I could hear his voice in my head; he was shouting “Keep your Guard up” and believe me, I was, with fists clenched in front of my face covering my nose and eyes, chin down, elbows tucked in protecting my ribs, stomach muscles clenched. No, I wasn’t daydreaming about when I was a kid and my Dad was teaching me to defend myself, I was in serious danger of being badly hurt. I was lying on my office floor and there was a psychotic 18 stone guy pinning me down trying his hardest to FUBAR me (F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition)

How did I get myself in this situation?  

Well the short answer is I sold a very nice 2000 W Rover 75 Club SE with 60000 miles for the measly sum of £1295 to a lunatic, I have tried to rationalise what happened like this because I think the long answer will scar me mentally for the rest of my life. 

So, if you’re not thinking to your self “Hmm dodgy used car dealer, I bet he got what he deserved” and you’re interested in my side of the story, please read on. 

It was Bank Holiday weekend my girlfriends Dad had been taken into hospital, we couldn’t visit till after 2.00 pm so I had taken her out for lunch to try and take her mind off the situation, on the way to the hospital I had to call at the garage to print off a holiday insurance document for my friend who was going abroad early the next morning. When I arrived, a couple were looking around a Rover which I was selling as a part exchange bargain for £1295, Glasses retail was £1950. The car, although mechanically sound with a long MOT and £100 worth of Road Tax on the windscreen, could not be considered A1 as it had a few cosmetic imperfections, i.e. cigarette burns in the seat, small scuff on the bumper, and a couple of trolley dings. 

The car wasn’t a “one careful owner” and it hadn’t belonged to a nun but it had belonged to the next best thing; the previous owner was a nice guy and he worked for VOSA (Vehicle Operator Services Agency who are in charge of British MOT’s). No expense had been spared on the maintenance; recently £1100 had been spent rectifying the head gasket which is a well known problem on Rovers and £300 had been spent on service, steering bushes, tyres, etc. Before he had bought the car, he had it checked over by a reputable garage. This was documented and I showed the couple who were looking at it all the bills and also the written mechanical breakdown warranty that they would get with the car. 

I explained that I could only stay for 5 minutes as I was in a hurry and asked if they could come back; this was not sales tactics by me and anyone who knows me will testify that I do not try to pressure people into buying a car as this only leads to aggravation. However, for some reason, they needed to get fixed up with a car that day and in their words the Rover was a “Bargain” (in my words it was too). They asked if they could take it a test drive and I agreed. When they returned they asked if I could wait while they went home for the cash but as I couldn’t, they paid with a debit card and insisted on taking the car there and then. I didn’t have a problem with this as the car had recently been serviced, I had already checked all the levels and tyre pressures, I knew it drove perfectly because when it came in PX it had a full tank of fuel and I had been using it to do my errands and had driven to Manchester in it the day before (70 mile round trip). 

As well as teaching me to defend myself (Defend not attack), my Dad drummed into me that I should never ever be a “Show Off”. I temporarily forgot my Dad’s advice as before I left the office I decided to share my good fortune with my friends on Twitter and posted the following tweet : 

‘Had a great lunch but had to call at the garage on the way back, a customer was looking round a car and bought it in 5 mins, Happy Days’  

what  can I say but “Dad when you’re right, you’re right” as for me the days and weeks to follow would be far from happy! 

My phone rang on the Tuesday and the caller introduced herself as the person who had bought the Rover. She then said the words that always strike fear into my heart, “I’ve just taken my car to xxx“ and to protect their identity I will refer to them as a garage that do fast replacements, I hasten to reiterate ‘not repairs but replacements”. I have come across this type of operation in the past and so has the TV program “Watchdog”. I am always wary of their business ethics as I think they are underhanded and have been on the receiving end of their dirty tricks before. I interrupted her and said  ”Let me guess, everything they sell just happens to be wrong with the car you bought?” She said they had told her that the car was a “knacker”, that it had the wrong size battery on which was too small for the car, and that they could get her a Rover Diesel for £1500. She then said that she wanted her money back; she had just unwittingly blurted out the real reason she was now unhappy and had fallen out with a perfectly good reliable car. 


I was a bit annoyed and I replied that I too could get them a Rover Diesel for £1500 but it would have done a lot more miles than the car they had bought. I also added that the car was 11 years old and the battery may not have been the same size as the one that was fitted to the car when it rolled off the assembly line, but battery technology had improved a lot since then. I also told her that the car started first time every time, all the electrics worked perfectly and that if there was anything safety related that was wrong with the car, I would attend to it immediately and that I could not make a car that was sold as a run-around at a knock down price into a brand new car. The conversation ended with her threatening to go to the Citizens Advice Bureau which I encouraged her to do as I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong and thought that being impartial they would talk some sense into her and that would be the last I heard of the matter.  

Sadly it wasn’t. 

I was dealing with a trader in my office when I became aware of the couple looking through my window and F-ing and blinding to each other. I asked the trader to step out while I attended to them. They were abusive from the start calling me an f-ing liar, saying that I had told them that the car had had a new engine fitted, basically turning my words. I told them that when they bought the car, what I had actually said was that it had had £1100 spent on the engine after which I had showed them the bill and read out exactly what work had been carried out, before handing them the bill to read for themselves. 

Again I was called an F-ing liar, so I told them that I had done nothing wrong, it wasn’t as if there was anything broken on the car and I politely asked them to leave. It was actually the woman who was shouting at me and the guy was quite calm asking her not to make a fuss. I reiterated that if there was anything wrong with the car I would fix it, but would not replace things that weren’t broken or faulty with new parts and that even if the car had been new, there was no one in the motor trade who would offer such a warranty. I tried once more to make them see sense by picking up my I pad to open up the Glass’s Guide app, typing in the registration and mileage of the vehicle they had purchased to show them that in our “Confidential” trade guide, the vehicle had a suggested retail price of £1950 and that they had indeed got a bargain. I turned to put my I pad on the desk behind me and that was when all hell let loose. 

I had my back turned when I heard a chair move suddenly and as I turned round to look what was happening I connected with the hardest punch the guy could land on the top of my jaw and left temple, my teeth crashed together, chipping one of them. I had no time to react as he was already clambering over my desk and onto me, his face was contorted with rage and his arms were flailing at me. My office is a portakabin with hardly any room behind the desk, so my legs were stuck under the desk and my chair collapsed. I hit the floor with his full weight impacting on my chest, he got a couple of punches in before I managed to raise my guard, arms crossed at the wrist so as to use the strength in both arms to protect my head and to avoid as much as possible my own fists being knocked into me with the force of his blows. It was all I could do as my legs were still trapped and I couldn’t move.

He rained blows down trying to get my fists away from my face so he could do as much damage as possible but I held firm with my guard, determined not to let him connect with my chin, nose or temple. At one stage, he grabbed my fist and tried bending my fingers back to move my hand away then punching the muscle in my bicep over and over again, trying to force a gap so that he could punch me directly in the face; this gave me a couple of seconds to try to free myself, but realising this he stood up and stamped on my right leg just below the knee, I was lucky that my leg was flat on the ground otherwise he could have shattered my knee joint, the next stamp was aimed at my groin but I managed to turn my hips. His full weighted stamp caught me on the right side of my rib cage and stomach, I was badly winded but managed to try and move my office chair that was trapping me, this gave him an opportunity to stamp on my head, and he made it count, stamping about 3 or 4 times in quick succession.






He wasn’t a guy lashing out in anger it was a calm and calculated attack by a psychopath; I was in fear for my life, any one of his stamps could easily have irreparably damaged an internal organ, caused me brain damage or cost me my sight. Strangely It never occurred to me to shout for help. Although I couldn’t see at the time, later the shape and density of the bruising showed that he was using a Karate style fist to deliver his blows with the maximum force.
Without my attacker’s weight pressing down on me, I managed to roll over and use my arms to force myself away from the wall but as I tried to get up I was punched and kicked in my back and the back of my head; my shirt which was taken away for forensics later showed that the punches and kicks were aimed straight at my kidneys. This guy knew what he was doing, he’d tried to hit me in every weak spot that the human body has. Then, as I was trying to force my way up with him on my back, he reached round the front of my head and dug his finger nails into my forehead trying to turn my face while he carried on punching and trying to uppercut me. As painful as it was, I knew I couldn’t let him achieve this as I knew that if he connected properly and I were to lose consciousness or drop my guard, he would keep hitting me for as long as he could, he was a Psycho and I may never be the same again; I had to get myself off the floor quickly and I would have to punch my way out of my own place of work, I summoned all my energy ignoring the punches and kicks, I heaved backward using may arms to press away from the wall and my thighs to lift me and my attacker who was a dead weight on my back and pinning me down still, I summoned all my strength and I heaved back as hard as I could, I was succeeding, but fearing I was going to be in a position to retaliate, he kicked and punched at me with even more urgency. 

The door of my office burst open and I heard our valeter shout ‘What the f**k's going on’,   then it became a whole lot easier for me to push back as I heaved upwards, and our valeter grabbed my attacker and dragged him off me. I learned later that even as he was dragging him off, the attacker continued to kick me in the back, but what I found even more horrifying was that the woman was also kicking and scratching me. She also had to be dragged off me by the trader 

I can’t help thinking that this couple were a match made in heaven or should I say, match made in hell. 

I knew I must have looked bad, as I could feel blood running down the side of my head and neck but I didn’t realise how bad until I saw the look of horror on the faces of our valeter and the trader. I was pumped with adrenalin and at that moment I felt I could have taken on Mike Tyson, my attacker was there for the taking, he was well overweight, he was out of condition and all his efforts trying to hurt me had taken their  toll. He was breathing very heavily and sweating, I had inadvertently replicated Mohammed Ali’s “Rope A Dope” Technique which he had used to overcome his much bigger, heavier and younger opponent George Foreman in the 1974”Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match. Ali just kept his guard up and  leaned against the ropes for 7 ¾ rounds letting Foreman punch him at will, Foreman exhausted himself hitting Ali with everything he had, throwing huge but ineffective punches trying to knock him out, Foreman was lumbering around the ring like Frankenstein’s monster when Ali decided the time was right he pushed himself off  the ropes where Foreman had him cornered and was slugging away, then he treated Foreman to a lesson in Boxing and he quickly felled him dumping him unceremoniously onto the canvass with a lightning fast 4 punch left right combination.


I have never ever started a fight with anyone in my life, I despise bullies with every fibre in my body I abhor people who think they are tough when they have all their mates with them to back them up, and I am extremely proud of myself for not retaliating when I had the chance. I know I would be able to take the guy in a fight whether it be Marquis of Queensbury rules or finish him off even after he had started the surprise attack “Cage Fight” . In my opinion he wasn’t worth the effort he was a scumbag and I didn’t want to give him the opportunity to claim that he had acted in self defence, I also knew that he was basically a coward and now that he was outnumbered and exhausted he must have been very worried, he had hit, kicked, scratched and stamped on me as hard as he possibly could and without any form of warning. I was still standing, the best of his worst wasn’t good enough to beat me!

I  didn’t need a compulsory 8 count and I was still thinking clearly, I ordered them out of my office, the woman was still f-ing and blinding and I told them that I was calling the police I walked out, followed by my attackers, the door to my office had closed and I was afraid that trouble would start between our valeter and him so I pushed it wide open, there were two steps to my office so I was lower than my attacker but as I did so he tried to aim another kick at my head, I side stepped and he kicked thin air.

I had left them a clear path to walk off the forecourt and to their car, I was in no way threatening or antagonistic to him but I was ready for him running at me to continue the fight however he wasn’t as brave now, he was shouting all sorts of abuse and threats as to what he was going to do to us, he was also threatening to come back and get me and our valeter, Strangely he was also calling our valeter a Four Eyed C*** even though he too was wearing glasses. I wanted to make sure that he didn’t provoke our valeter into losing his temper so I stepped between them and pulled our valeter away saying that I was ok and we should let the Police deal with the matter. 

The couple jumped into the Rover I had sold them, there’s a first time for everything and I was hoping the “garage”/ speedy replacement con men that advised them that the car had the wrong battery were on this occasion going to be right and that the car wouldn’t start giving the Police time to get here and catch them red handed, but the car burst into life first turn of the key, as it always had done before, and they sped off, little did I know they would have had 24 hours to getthe car started and make their getaway before the Police eventually decided to turn up.  

I had called the Police immediately, but after few hours they still hadn't arrived, so I rang again impressing on them that I was sat there waiting for them with blood dripping down my head. another 2 hours went by and after the 3rd call to them it became clear that they had no intention of coming that same day. 4 hours after the incident I went home, by which time the side of my head was very swollen and throbbing, I’d developed a blinding headache, my right eye felt too big for the socket and like it was going to pop out, I had blurred vision, my ribs were excruciatingly painful and I could barely draw enough air into my lungs. As the adrenalin rush had subsided the pain from my injuries increased. 

I hadn’t realised how much punishment I had actually taken until I got into the shower. 

I went over the incident in my head and decided that I had been punched well over 30 times, stamped on at least 5 times but lost count of the kicks to my back. My front tooth was chipped, and my left eye and side of my head was bruised from the sucker punch. I had my attacker’s footprint on my head in blood, my right temple and eye socket were badly bruised, my right ear was cut and bleeding where his foot had scraped down the side of my head with a mistimed stamp, my shin was bruised in the shape of a full footprint, bruises above my knees where I had got stuck under the desk. There were at least 10 separate bruises up my arms, and a cluster of deep yellow bruising in the shape of knuckles and a thumb on my bicep and shoulder, there was a kick shaped bruise in my ribs under my right arm, I couldn’t move the middle finger on my right hand, I had nail marks and cuts in my forehead, the back of my head was a mass of lumps and bumps, I was urged to go to the hospital but I was determined not to give these people the satisfaction of thinking they had hospitalized me. 

The next afternoon when the Police came it was clear that they hadn’t realised the severity of the attack and the officer took one look at me and radioed his Sergeant who immediately suggested that an Ambulance be called, I refused to go to the Casualty Department or anywhere in an ambulance but the Police Photographer told me that he had just come back from the Hospital where he had to take pictures of a guy who surgeons had  had to cut open his skull to relieve pressure on his brain caused by internal swelling, so we compromised and I agreed to get to the hospital under my own steam. Apart from the bruising there was now a lot of swelling in the soft tissue around my right eye and for me it was like looking through the bottom of a milk bottle, and a later diagnosis when the swelling to my ribs had gone down a little revealed that I also possibly 2 cracked ribs. 
 
The Police didn't manage to catch up with the attackers for several days even though they had both their home and business addresses, eventually the couple made arrangements to hand themselves in at Police Station. I would Imagine by this time there would be no trace of forensic evidence

It was reported in the Local paper that “a Male aged 44 and woman aged 47 they were both charged with section 47 assault ”. I didn’t know the guy’s name as the deal was done in the woman’s name, but when scenes of crime came to photograph my injuries and the damage to my office, my attacker’s business card was discovered on the floor, he’d accidentally dropped his business card amongst other things. It also shed some light on how he knew exactly where to punch; the guy was a trained Physiotherapist.

 
Also on the floor was an old fashioned tin opener with a half moon shaped open blade. Now hand on heart I cannot recall having ever used or seen a tin opener in my office before and I had no use for one so I can’t imagine why one would be in there but nor can I swear that it belonged to my attacker. However, I have to say that this frightened me more than anything, when I saw it on the floor I went cold, all my Dad’s defence training wouldn't have helped much against an attacker armed with a blade.  

Despite repeated requests to the police asking them to put my mind at rest and tell me whether my attacker’s finger prints were on the Tin Opener which would at least confirm that he brought it with him, I could not get an answer from them, they flatly refused to check for his prints. It’s simple if his finger prints were on it then he intended to use it or threaten me with it but all I have been told by the Police is that even if they could prove it did belong to him, it would be impossible to prove intent to use it. To the Investigating officer it didn’t seem to be a priority, but I wanted to know for future reference just how deranged this guy was, to me its common sense that a guy would never carry anything in his pocket that may possibly castrate him. if the Tin Opener was his, there was only one explanation he intended to use it, and he hadn’t  come to my office to cook lunch for me, if it was his I assume that in the commotion, thankfully, he had dropped it. As my attacker was escorted out of my office he asked if he could get his “Diary” that he had dropped on the floor, his request was denied and he was shown the door. I never found a Diary so draw your own conclusions, but mine was that he wanted to retrieve his “weapon” that If produced as evidence would have left no doubt in a Jury’s mind who the aggressor was!, I can’t help wondering why this did not occur to the Police too.

My Dad was a very talented amateur boxer and he used to spar with a professional boxer. When I was a kid we used to pretend box, he would drum into me to keep my guard up, then he would dig me in the stomach; I’d wince, drop my arms then in the blink of an eye my Dad would tag me on both cheeks and tweak my nose before shouting at me “Keep your guard up” I am forever indebted to him for taking the time and the trouble to teach me self defence and making it second nature to me but most of all my attacker should be grateful too because if I hadn’t been able to protect myself , he could have been going to prison for a long long time on a murder charge not just a section 47 assault, that is if he was eventually found guilty of the assault by a jury of his peers. It did briefly occur to me that he had intended to attack me with a can of peaches, like in the Monty Python sketch, and thats why he needed a tin opener, however unlikely that scenario is, it would still mean the attack was  pre meditated! 
 

That wasn’t the end of the matter, the couple were released on bail but he continued to make a nuisance of himself. I had an interactive web cam at the Garage and someone began to use it in a very menacing way, they kept zooming in on me or our valeter, every time I took control, or a customer attempted to view my cars, the nuisance started to move the camera in the opposite direction and then from side to side as fast as he could until it overheated and tripped out. My camera cost in excess of £3000 to install and I was worried that this stupid behaviour would burn it out or damage it in some way. I kept turning it off to protect it from permanent damage but as soon as I turned it back on the cycle would start again, the camera was a very important part of my business I needed it to be live.
 



The cyberstalker must have thought that I wouldn’t be able to trace him, but he was wrong I looked back through my web stats and analytics and found what I was looking for, he had left a digital fingerprint, it was the same I P Address of the people who had viewed me on line before they bought the Rover. I also found that he had googled me, and was searching through every social network, he searched my blogs, flikr account, twitpic , you tube and the Stalkers dream which is “Four Square, a couple of times I also thought I was being followed home from the garage.
Presumably he was trying  to find some unhappy customers that he could get together as witnesses to my "shady dealings", or some dirt that he could feed his Barrister with to try and discredit my reputation, he found none. I overeacted and shut down all my accounts so he couldn’t find anything about me, but then I remembered I had nothing to hide, and I wasn’t frightened of him so I opened them all up again printed off the information that I had against him stalking me and called the Police. 

I was sorry I had bothered, although the Police were very impressed that I could prove I was being stalked, they informed me that everything was in the public domain which I suppose is common sense, and although part of my attackers bail conditions were that he wasn’t allowed to come anywhere near my place of business, stalking me on the internet and my work web cam didn’t count. He was logging on to the About Us page of my website over and over again, I expressed my concern to the Police that he become obsessed and he must have mental problems, he was watching me every single day from the moment I got to work, until the time I left, he was accessing my website at all times of the day and night.




Records of all the times my Web Cam was accessed by the same IP Address
 
On the 10/06/2011 I had been forced to turn the camera off 27 times in 1 day. He was either a Psychopath or at the very least he was trying to disrupt my business and cause damage to my camera. It would seem that Common Sense doesn't apply in the eyes of the Law the Police told me that unless I had a visible warning sign on my web cam that effectively said “Please do not move this web camera from side to side all day long or it will burn the motor out” they couldn’t do anything about it. If I wanted to take the matter further I would have to go to the expense of employing a Solicitor to take out a restraining order against my attacker. Thanks Officer once again you have been an invaluable help, to the criminal fraternity. Sure enough the cyber stalker eventually burned out the motor in my webcam.

Is there a moral to my story? The only thing that I can think is that some people expect a new car for whatever cash they have in their pocket at the time. 

My observations of a customer’s expectation these days are; 

A deposit is given to make sure the dealer doesn’t sell the car to any one else, but the buyer expects it to be refunded if for any reason whatsoever he should change his mind.  

Even after the customer has paid for the car in full and driven it away, should he see or hear of something else that he wants to buy, at any time he expects he can just make up some story and to return the car for a full refund. 

If the dealer doesn’t comply with any of the above the customer also thinks he has the right to beat you to within an inch of your life and walk away scot free.



Now that was my side of the story, I will try to be as impartial as I can, and remember as much as possible, of what their Barrister said and accused me of, but to be honest I am disgusted with the Police and also British Justice, after 18 months and 3 trials the couple were found not guilty, I suppose I can understand it as it really came down to my word against theirs, our Valeter and the Trader were only witnesses to the aftermath, and I suppose anything could have happened prior to that.
I cannot express or even put into words just how badly let down I feel, or my total disgust in the Police, the Jury, the whole British Legal System, and the Fiasco that was supposedly the Trial, sorry the 3 Trials,  so to sum it all up I will have to borrow this one from the American Military.

 It was a Total Cluster F**k


Definition for Clusterf**k

A combination of things going wrong in a short period of time within the same general activity --- caused by stupidity and / or ineptitude.






I believe this term has since been replaced in American Military Slang, if anything goes seriously wrong now they call it a “Rover Trial F**K”



The Police and the Crown Prosecution Services were convinced that there was enough evidence to obtain a successful prosecution against my attackers and I was called as a witness for the Crown. The trial was scheduled to last for 5 days, but I was sat in a small room for 3 days before I was called to the stand as the first person to testify.

In the days before the trial was due to start I received an anonymous phone call at the garage, "Deep Throat" told me that my Attacker had a history of Violence, but he had never been convicted, he told me about another Incident which I assume he was actually ( The friend of his ) that it had happened to, then he told me that my Attacker had a Sibling who was very high ranking officer in the Police.Force, he warned me to be careful then he hung up. I googled the name, and sure enough he was right, the Sibling was indeed high profile and very outspoken in the Press and it occurred to me that they should start by getting their own house in order before they spouted off to others!
I immediately rang the CID officer who was in charge of the case and he confirmed this, but he also assured me that the relation could not and would not be able to influence the proceedings, he added that if they did and got caught they would lose their job, pension and face jail themselves.

I remain sceptical!




Things got off to a terrible start, the shirt and trousers which I was wearing at the time of the attack, had been bagged and  taken away for forensic examination, but they had gone missing, the Police evidence department had “evidently” misplaced them, but the prosecution decided to go ahead with the trial anyway. The “Lady” Barrister for The Defence continually called me a liar, she tried her hardest to make me look stupid and lose my temper, it was a fairly harrowing experience but as bad as it was, I seem to a have an adverse effect on Women and If I'm honest I have been out on worse dates !  

She laid into me accusing me of selling a car that was unfit for the road, she said " I Must have been rubbing my hands with glee, when these 2 right mugs came on the pitch and bought the car" I was always Happy to see Customer’s but I wouldn’t have described them as mugs they were actually well informed, they asked the right questions.
 
 
I countered with what I thought was a compelling argument, the car had a long MOT, from memory it was over 10 Months, £100 quids worth of unexpired Road Tax on the screen, it had a 3 Month written A1 Warranty guarantee, nothing was broken on it, or dangerous if there was she would have been waving a repair bill in front of me, the customers had never made a claim on the Warranty, I had never been approached by trading standards about the car in any form, phone call, letter, email, visit, and no one was in the process of suing me in a “Fit for Purpose” claim, but then again in 40 years of being in this business I never have been!


She couldn’t produce a detailed examination from a reputable organisation like the RAC or AA or any half decent Independent engineer. if it was only a fraction as bad as they were implying it was, all they had to do was take it for another MOT, it wouldn’t have cost them a penny if it had failed, and they would have had a written report by a Government Approved Inspector of why it wasn’t fit to be on the road, I suspect they tried this and the MOT inspector couldn’t find anything wrong and it passed with flying colours.





All she had was a letter from a “Tyre Fitter” at their local speedy replacement garage, it wasn't  on Letter Headed Paper so he wasn't even representing or speaking on behalf of the Garage itself, it was just one of the oily rags that worked for them, it didn't say what qualifications he had, or in what capacity he felt he had an expert opinion, and his spelling and grammar were worse than mine, neither was he called as a witness so that the Prosecution Barrister could cross examine him and show him for the half wit he undoubtedly was (incidentally this to was the garage that was trying to sell them the £1500 Rover Diesel, They Didn't Actually Have a £1500 Rover Diesel But They Said They Could Get One). From memory the mechanics letter was on a scratty piece of A4 paper that had been torn in half and printed on a computer, it said

1)    The tyres were worn.

I explained that it was a used car and the tyres were worn, but there was plenty of tread on them, and more than enough to last thousands of miles. If they had obtained a proper report it would have given the depth of tread on each tyre, and given the percentage of wear, I quoted the percentage wear per millimetre left


Tread depth new 8mm.
  • 7mm 16% worn
  • 6mm 31% worn
  • 5mm 47% worn
  • 4mm 63% worn
  • 3mm 78% worn
  • 2mm 94% worn
  • 1.6mm 100% worn

 2)  Some hoses were touching the engine.

Hello!  the hoses are attached to the engine, and go to the radiator, the heater radiator pipes run up the side of the engine and are in fact clipped to it. I asked Which hoses were touching that weren’t actually supposed to be, there was no answer forthcoming

3) There was no oil in the Engine.

What F##### rubbish, It had just been serviced, I had checked it myself and if there was no oil in the car there would have been a warning light on the dashboard, and the engine would have seized up.

4) The brake pads made a noise, and were worn.


Of course they were worn it was an 11 year old car, but how much? 25% 50% 75% what? Were the discs within tolerance? The pads never made a noise when I drove it, they worked correctly, pulled the car up efficiently and in a straight line, the car had passed an MOT 2 months previously and had done less than 500 miles since, if the customer had said that they thought the brakes were faulty they could have brought it straight back at moment’s notice and I would have had them checked.

5) The brake fluid reservoir was low on brake fluid

Again if this was true and it was below minimum, there would be a warning light on the dashboard, there wasn’t ! . There is a minimum and maximum level on a brake fluid reservoir and the system is designed to operate safely between these two. As brake pads wear and get thinner more fluid is taken out of the reservoir to operate them, however when you replace the pads the fluid level goes back up


6) The Air Conditioning wasn’t working,
I can neither confirm or deny this as I hadn’t checked it, it seemed to be working when I used the car, but it is no way a safety issue, certainly the ventilation/defrosting/heating system was working but perhaps it wouldn’t cool the interior to 11 degrees less than the outside air temperature. The car was sold as a “Runaround” at a knock down price, if it was perfect it would have been a lot more money

7) The battery was too small for the car

It wasn’t the original one, but batteries have improved tremendously since the Rover was new, all the electrics on the car worked perfectly and the car started first time every time, you couldn’t get any better than that!

Those were the best reasons they could come up with for wanting their money back on an 11 year old car it was ludicrous, they were at risk of going to prison and the best they could get was a note from a Crap Fit Fitter, I pointed out that the report was a complete  joke and she asked me if I thought that I knew more about cars than the person who wrote it, she was sorry she had asked! 


I used the photograph of my office to draw her attention to the collection of my framed Autographed Celebrities Pictures on the right side of my office which were sent to me by one of the Charities that I donate money to, and asked if I she thought I would go to the trouble of ripping people off, so that I could help find a cure for Cancer and support Bizmark for the last 10 years who is a child from Dangme West in Ghana (Not Mine I Hasten To Add) I had sponsored him all the way through his Schooling.  I asked her If I was so desperate to make money by fleecing people did she seriously think that I would then give my ill gotten gains away? 



Then I asked her and the Jury to look at the left hand side to where I displayed just some of my Certificates that I had received for Mechanical and Diagnostic Achievements, I pointed out that I had been repairing and servicing cars for over 40 years, I had in excess of £50,000 worth of tools, including the latest diagnostic and air conditioning repair equipment, my empty toolbox alone cost £3500. My employment history although Mainly General Management had included Service, and Parts Manager Roles and I have been called in several times to repair problems that other garages couldn't fix and had given up on.

So in answer to your question, do I know more than a young lad whose primary duty is to fix punctures my answer is “Yes, Ive probably forgotten more than he will ever know”





She moved quickly on to her next fable, she then accused me of losing my temper, punching the customer in the shoulder, then dragging him across the desk on top of me. Her version of events was even more ludicrous than the Kennedy Assassination “Magic Bullet Theory”

I showed the Jury where he was sat which was diagonally across from me at the widest point of my desk which was 3 feet across, then even if his knees were touching the front of my desk his head and arms would be at least 5 feet away from me. He was also sat behind my 22 Inch Computer Monitor, I demonstrated the story was ridiculous by trying to lean over the witness box, Then I said that I would estimate he weighed about 18 stone, in order for it to happen the way she had said I would also have had to unplug my computer monitor and move it out of the way, then lie across my desk, with my legs in the air, grab hold of him using my finger tips, then somehow haul him over me, then I would have to spin my body 180 degrees in order for my head to be at the same end as his, then we would have to drop our combined weight of 31 stones onto my office chair, bending the metal post of the backrest sideways and beyond repair with the force, then get on the floor first so that he could land on top of me, (If I could do that I would have been in the Olympics Gymnastic and Weightlifting teams  and not selling cars) I was definitely ahead on points in this trial.






It was going so well now that It briefly crossed my mind to tell the joke to my Audience about how I must be related to that "Girl with the questionable morals, who could trip a good looking guy up and be underneath him before he hit the carpet, but knowing my luck they wouldn't realise it was a joke and think it was an admission of guilt, I decided there's a time and a place for that joke, and this wasn’t it!
 
The next thing I was accused of was not producing the cctv from the camera in my office because this would have showed the true version of events (trying to infer that it would confirm her clients alternate reality). My answer was that I don’t have cctv in my office, and never had. My cctv's were focused on my Used Car Stock and were designed to catch thieves and vandals in the act,  and that when I had it installed I had never envisioned being attacked by a lunatic in my office. 

I pointed out to her that her Client had lied to her again, as he knew very well there was no camera in my office and that he had been harassing me using my own interactive webcam, again she accused me of lying and making things up, I told her that I had been forced to make a complaint to the Police and I could produce the evidence if she didn’t believe me, also the Police had actually checked the nuisance's IP Address and confirmed that it was her clients, she declined.

At that point we adjourned for the day, but then I was called back for a meeting, I wrongly assumed that in the face of insurmountable evidence the defendants had changed their plea to "Guilty". Instead I was told that one of the Jurors had a hospital appointment so they were going to call a Mistrial. I objected most strongly. I once saw an episode of Judge John Deed where the same thing happened and I know that you can carry on with 11 jurors. The prosecuting Barrister must have missed that episode and he was worried that if he got a conviction, it would give the accused grounds for appeal so the jury was dismissed and I had wasted 5 days of my life, and the Defendants had been given  a "Get Out Of Jail Free Card

The next trial was scheduled and I turned up as requested, if the first trial was a "Cluster F**k, this was even worse. Before I went in to testify again the prosecution Barrister approached me to tell me that my shirt had now turned up, it was in a sealed plastic evidence bag, to my horror he started to rip it open. I grabbed his hand and told him not to do that, if the trial relied on it, the defence could argue that it had been tampered with, he carried on regardless. I don’t think I made myself very popular when I chastised him for opening it and also the police for losing it for  months in the first place.
The second trial started and I was subjected to the same abuse from their Barrister, after every answer she said “ I put it to you that You’re a liar! and this is what actually happened",  this trial wasn’t going so well for me, although I was telling the truth to the best of my recollection, you can’t ask your own question’s, and I had to answer the one's that she was asking me. In my opinion the Prosecution Barrister was Court supplied and he was useless, he seemed to have no interest to the point where he didn’t even look like he was paying attention to the proceedings. 

The accused had had two Barristers I assume he was paying for them, and they were definitely alert and paying attention, both Barrister’s also had assistants who were furiously taking notes and constantly updating her, so she could try and trip me up, or catch me in a lie. It soon became obvious that they had learned from cross examining me in the first trial and she wasn’t asking me the questions that I had answered and made a mockery of the defendants testimony. She had honed and scripted her questions to perfection and she was making a fool of me in the Witness box, she had me cornered and on the ropes.

The next bit was further than we had gotten in the first trial and it was uncharted territory for us both, she accused me of lying and said that the defendant had never stamped on me and I was making it up. I asked her, if that was the case how could she explain the Defendants Footprint on my shirt, and the even more damning and gruesome evidence photo that clearly showed the Defendants footprint on my head in blood, I was only bleeding from my head, there was no blood on my office floor, his shoe had been contaminated when he mistimed  a previous stamp and he ripped my ear, Even to the biggest Halfwit in the World the bloody Footprint should have proved beyond all reasonable doubt that it was transference from an aimed kick, it was intentional and  was delivered while I was lay on the floor, her Client would not be able to aim 2 kicks at me in the same area to a point on my head that would have been nearly 6 foot off the ground if I had been standing up, the bloody footprint was this trials "Smoking Gun" it was larger than the area of my second injury which showed that he had stamped on my head at least twice, 2 stamps in the same area couldn’t have been done by accident, or done while trying to make me see reason.

As you would expect she took my argument in her stride then she tried to ridicule me by asking where my proof was, I told her to look at my shirt and  the pictures that I had taken for the Police!  I felt like I’d been stamped on all over again when she put on a show for the Jury, she turned to them but was talking to me, "You're a liar Mr Crampton! no shirt or any such pictures of a bloody footprint on my head existed, or had ever been entered into evidence". The Police had lost the DVD I had given them, and my shirt had never been examined by the forensic department I couldn’t believe it.

Thinking on my feet I saw an opportunity to turn the situation to my advantage, using my decades of Sales Training I put the favourite tactic of a Good Salesman to brilliant use, the "If" and "Would" statement, used as "If I can allow you what you're asking for your Part Exchange, Would you do a Deal? (if they say No, or I'll have to think about it, they're tyre kickers and a waste of time!)


I took a deep breath,  I knew I would only get one chance at this and I had to be word perfect so as not to allow her the option of saying "No" or i will have to think about it which would have totally destroyed her credibility as someone who was trying to get justice, It all came down to this moment, it was a defining moment in the trial, it was my "8th Round", I pushed myself out of the corner that I'd been in, came out swinging and delivered my “Ali” Left Right combination to her and the George "Foreman" of the Jury!. 


I said to the Defence Barrister “So IF I could produce a picture that shows, the defendants footprint on my head in blood,  Would you then concede that its actually your client who is the liar and not me?.

I now had the Juries full attention, several of them leaned forward, they were literally on the edge of their seat waiting for her answer.  I could tell by their body language there would be no coming back for the defence. She didn’t look at me or answer me, she was lost for words and dumbstruck!  It took all my self control not to shout “So Stick That In Your Pipe And Smoke It” then do an Ali Shuffle in the witness box, jump in the air and run round the court room with my shirt pulled over my head. I'd got her!


When Ali knocked out George Foreman, he could have punched him again to make sure but being the ultimate sportsman he didn’t,  Ali only wanted to do enough to beat Foreman not to kill him, he didn’t need to hit him again, George’s legs had already gone when the signal reached his brain he collapsed to the ground. This Barrister had been calling me a Liar in 2 trials and at each and every opportunity she got, over and over and over again. I had no sympathy for her, I wanted more than anything to deliver my “Coup de Grace” I wanted to ridicule her, kill her argument stone dead and the fairytale that she had collaborated with her clients to try and make believable.

I managed to retain my dignity and self control, although I could feel my heart almost jumping through my chest, as calmly as I could, I said to her, “because if you like I can reach into my briefcase get out my I Pad and show you and the Jury timed and date stamped photographs,  I also have a copy of the DVD I gave to the Police”, and I know for a fact that the Prosecution Barrister is in possession of my shirt. 

Then and only then did I allow myself a wry smile, ok a big smile, ok a massive smile as I watched her squirm and straighten the papers in front of her.

Now I wish I could tell you that my story ended there. The Jury went wild, the Judge had to smash his gavel on the desk repeatedly and shout order, order, order in court, order ! but it didn’t. As you are no doubt aware Barrister’s are paid “The Big Bucks” for being astute, cunning and very clever, they don’t make a fortune for being outsmarted by a Used Car Salesman with a Peter Pan complex who was stupid enough to believe that if you tell the truth justice would prevail.

She refused to look at my I pad, or the shirt,  the Jury were immediately sent out, the prosecution, defence and judge had a conference in which it was decided that because the Defence had not been supplied with the pictures or had been given the chance to examine my shirt,  another mistrial would be called. We would have to do it all again 6 Months later. 

I protested to the Police, and the Prosecution Barrister but there was nothing I could do, I wanted to register the fact that their Barrister knew every bit of my evidence and all my answers, she could structure her questions to suit her without fear of getting an answer that would catch her off guard, I knew right there and then that the defendants would get off, the whole process was a very unfunny joke.

Just before the next trial was due to start I had to go on business to the Village where the defendants lived, it was 18 Months after I had originally sold them the car and I was surprised to see the "Knacker"  as they described it, that they said was only fit for scrap and wasn't fit to be on the road, but it was actually still on the road, it was parked on the main road, it was still going strong as I knew it would, it was gleaming in the sunlight and it would still be a bargain at £1295.

The 3rd trial went exactly as I expected, the Defence had my shirt examined 17 months after the event and Forensics could neither confirm or deny that the mark that had been made in Dust was a foot print ( it was the 1 st stamp before he cut my ear with his shoe, so there was no blood, the shirt had gone missing for at least 6 months, and then my Barrister opened the sealed evidence back, against my rather vocal protests, it did show I had been punched in the back several times, so presumably I must have been trying to attack him by sticking my arse in his face too, but the prosecution never drew the Jurys attention to this, and I wasn't given the opportunity)

The Defendants Barrister had completely changed their story, she was fighting dirty, the new Jury consisted of 9 women and 2 Guys and a Young Lad who looked like he should have been at school. She played to the crowd , I saw the Women visibly wince in unison when for the first time in 3 trials their Barrister accused me of trying to punch the female defendant in the face, to make the point and show her contempt for me, her voice had almost gone Falsetto (remember, supposedly I snapped, and did this without warning, she was sat directly opposite me, wasn't expecting me to punch her, and apparently I missed

this was when the male defendant got off his chair and moved forward putting himself within my reach, he put his hands on my desk and pleaded with me to calm down and sought out the matter amicably, I didn’t listen to him, continued swearing and issuing threats, then I tried to head butt him  (his head would have been about 3 feet away from me, so not surprisingly I missed with that too, his stomach would have been a lot nearer perhaps I should have done an Imaginary Zinedine Zidane head butt




anyway It seems I missed again, so I punched him in the shoulder instead (this time I managed to get our hero),

 It cant have been a very good punch as he wasn't knocked backwards, and he didn't freel the need to move back so I couldn't hit him again, he stayed within my reach so I grabbed his arms and dragged him over my desk head first, he was about 6 ft tall, with his arms out stretched he would have measured about 8 feet and I managed to drag him head first into a 2 ft 6 Inch Space, (this reminded me of a scene in an old Wild West movie where a Cowboy grabs a baddy and drags them along the length of a saloon bar through all the glasses, to do as their Barrister suggested would be impossible, I would have had to lean forward as far as I could, pull him off his feet and onto the desk, pull his arms, then transfer my grip to his shoulders, then to his waist, then to his legs)

then somehow I sat in the chair, and I pulled him across with such force that we went sprawling onto the chair, bent its back rest (sidewards) and put a dent in the back wall of my office (there wasn't enough room behind my desk to move my chair back, i had to turn it sideways to get on and off it

the chair collapsed and he landed on top of me on top of me, (even though It seems I couldn't hit a Cows Arse with a shovel) and I  had an 18 stone guy on top of me,  I kept trying to hit him, I sustained all my injuries while he was trying to calm me down and restrain me (I had about 30 Visible bruises, a chipped tooth, 2 broken ribs,  a torn ear, scratches on my arms, finger nail scrapes in my forehead a heal mark in my eye socket, a gash and a footprint on my head, tendon damage to my fingers, blood from his knuckles where he had punched me repeatedly in the back and kidneys,  erm  and he had non).

Anyone who knows me would have found the defendant guilty as soon as their Barrister accused me of attempting to punch a woman, 2 things,

1) My hand to eye coordination is excellent, if I attempted to punch anyone I would connect,  believe me, and our School Bully it would leave a mark!

2)  I would never ever hit a Women and I’d shoot anyone who would. n.b  (If someone hit the Harpie who was acting for the Defence I may be tempted to give them a head start or just to fire a "Warning Shot" :-)

I was disgusted that the Defence had changed their story, she played on the women of the Juries worse fears and emotions , she did it very well, I'm sure the 9 Ladies ended up thinking, I was a thug and con man who thought nothing of beating women and cheating them out of their life savings. I cannot believe that this can be allowed in British Justice. It would seem that if a Prosecution witness or tell's lies in court they can be done for perjury but Barristers can say what they want with impunity. I told exactly the same story (The Truth) but they were allowed to change theirs to suit my answers

I ended up with numerous injuries but the defendant never get one, even though according to the Defence I dragged his 18 stone Lard Ass head first over the desk, then I tried my hardest to punch, kick and apparently head butt him not connecting once, or leaving a single mark. I had no marks on my knuckles, none of his skin under my nails, and all my injuries were clearly defensive, FFS!

The Prosecution have to establish guilt beyond all reasonable doubt, and they didn’t. The Defence Barrister had 2 “Trial" Runs to pick holes in my Testimony, weave her defence around it and ask me questions that she already knew my answers to. If Trials were decided on aggregate, or by a Panel of Boxing Judges I’m pretty confident they would have been convicted, but they aren’t and they weren’t. To my dismay the Defendants were acquitted. I take a certain amount of satisfaction knowing that they were teetering on the edge of being found guilty twice and they must have had 18 months of worry before they were aquitted.I'm pretty sure that would probably have been a lot worse than the slap on the wrist they would have gotten if they’d been found guilty. 


Could things have turned out differently? well I think I did all I could for Queen and Country and to try and make the World a safer place, except perhaps I could have showed them how I did my exercise work out's sparring with my “Slam Man” and let the Jury watch as I punched out the randomly flashing lights in a split second, before adjusting my body weight and stance in readiness for the next one to illuminate. How it's 6ft 6ins tall polycarbonate shell is filled to the top with sharp sand and weighs 15 1/2 stone, but I can still lift it off the canvas with the force from a well timed uppercut and even though it is designed to immediately right itself I can knock it past its point of no return and out for the count with a combination punch! (however I could be in trouble if they ever make a Slam Man that sneaks up on you)
 
Or If I could have just brought in the School Bully as a Character Witness.  When we were young he was twice as big as me and for a while he made my life a misery, one day at playtime he punched me for no reason, he stood there taunting me and was showing off in front of all his mates, his punch had hurt me, I was winded and I was fighting back the tears but wouldn't give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry, I could feel my bottom lip quivering but then he pointed to his chin and dared me to hit him "Go on Crampton", long story short it was lucky his mates were there to pick him up, he got a black eye and a badly bruised ego and he never bothered me again.

Perhaps if I'd done any of the above, then the Juries outcome would have been different. The Jury seriously believed that I tried to hit him and didn’t connect with him once what a load of SHIT!!!!!!

Somehow the Prosecution had managed to snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory! 

Did I learn anything from my experience, you bet I did!  
1) Crown Prosecuting Barristers should be paid on a No Win, No Fee Basis then they may pay more attention, and perhaps pipe up with the odd "Objection"

2) Sometimes being a nice guy really Sucks!

3) Some people lie better than I can tell the truth!

4) You can get away with murder if you have relations that your actions would reflect badly on, even if they don't have direct involvement, allegedly!

5) Bullies don't suddenly become nice guys when they leave school,

6) Each Court should have a professional Jury and a panel of expert Jurors who can actually understand any technical answers that would be beyond the comprehension of normal Joe Public, then draw their attention to the fact that it is beyond the laws of physics and gravity to lift an 18 stone guy over a desk the way the defence suggested, so its probably a lie!

7) There's an old saying which George Bush managed to make a spectacular mess of



but it should go like this 


"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, Shame on me! 

What does it mean? well there have been many interpretation's,

but this is mine. I would like to think it means "It aint over till it's over"
or
The First time I had my back turned to you and you sucker punched me, I’m a Law abiding guy and I won’t be coming to look for you, but if our paths do cross be warned you’ve already played your Joker, your element of surprise has gone, I will assume that you are coming to try and make good your promise "To Kill Me" I will assume that you are carrying a weapon as it has never been proved otherwise, and I won’t make the same mistake of turning my back on you or relying on the Police or the Legal system to show you the error of your ways, and bring you to justice!

Anybody know where I can get a 16 Ton Weight?
On a lighter note, almost two years after the incident the tendons in the Middle finger of my right hand have still not fully recovered, I can’t bend it properly but it serves as a constant reminder of this incident, and also that I should never to turn my back on someone who I'm not a 100% sure isn't a Psychopath!
 
especially when I feel the need to express my displeasure at someone’s bad driving!

Oh and here's a special message to the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, who had to sit through the 3rd Trial, " What were you thinking? " 






 
I’m trying my Best Duncan but it aint easy!


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