Ex-mechanic gets prison sentence for handing out fake MOT certificates

Man accessed garage computer system to log passes for cars that he "tested" on at owners' homes

Ex-mechanic gets prison sentence for handing out fake MOT certificates
Patrick Richardson outside Southampton Magistrates' Court.

An ex-mechanic who left his role working at an independent garage to “earn more money” fitting fences has been handed a 16 week prison sentence after he was found to be accessing the garage’s computer system to log MOT passes for friends and family, local reports say.

Patrick Richardson, who had previously worked at Paynes Road MOT in Southampton, carried out fake tests on vehicles at their owners’ homes, sometimes charging £45 per completed test.

He began logging passes in February 2016 but was caught six months later when the garage noticed that MOTs had been completed for cars that had not actually been in the workshop.

Richardson had been employed by the garage for nine years but remained on the test centre’s books as holiday cover after he quit the role to try and earn more money as a fence fitter.

Felicity Hind, prosecutor for the DVSA, said Richardson’s actions were “unsafe” and “could have had an impact on the public”.

Fraud by false representation

However, Susan Ridge, mitigating, said Richardson was forced to carry out the MOTs because he faced financial pressures following the birth of his child.

At Southampton Magistrates’ Court, he admitted 20 counts of fraud by false representation.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Paynes Road MOT manager, John Mayhew said: “We were told by the company which runs our garage to carry out new internal audits so we did that.

“When we checked the logs we found that Richardson had been doing the checks on his mobile phone.

“We as a company couldn’t have done more as we weren’t aware he was accessing the systems.

“We never even saw the cars.

“It’s terrible and a shortcoming because any tester can carry out tests and there is no scope for them to be checked.”

Public risk

Andy Rice, DVSA head of counter-fraud and investigations, said: “We take the quality of MOT testing extremely seriously, have carried out almost 10,000 visits, assessments and re-examinations and continue to work with the industry to improve test quality.

“Issuing fraudulent MOTs means increasing the number of unroadworthy, even dangerous vehicles on our roads.

“We’ll withdraw the right to provide MOTs, and will not hesitate in prosecuting garages and testers who put the travelling public at risk.”

Richardson was sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and 80 hours’ unpaid work.

He must also pay £500 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

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Home Page Forums Ex-mechanic gets prison sentence for handing out fake MOT certificates

This topic contains 15 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  ERic REmington (US) 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
  • #157925 Reply

    Andrew Taylor

    Surely the AE should have some responsibility for not taking him off the tester list on the day he left the garage??

    #157941 Reply

    Richard Bruce

    the management should print a list once a week/ month and do these checks, it would have stood out like a sore thumb.
    the punishment does not fit the crime.
    I do not use part time mot testers
    lots of scope for management to carry out checks,
    the mitigating issue just makes me sick, no one forces anyone to do anything.

    #157924 Reply

    stewart duthie

    To be honest a bit of a joke here you could say, so they never checked their logg on the amount of mots being done on a daily basis or the end of the month report sent to you.
    Then can state i didnt know ,what a bad run system they have had.The other point here is he should not have been away from the garage with a smart card and logging onto their system when he wasnt employed full time by this firm,and randomly having access to it again poorly run waiting for a disaster to happen.
    i know who also i would dissapline here the owner of that firm,no wonder the motor trade is looked on as bad.

    #157947 Reply

    Norma Fitzpatrick

    You are all so right. The comments on this Garage on Facebook speak volumes

    #157948 Reply


    I will never understand why the smart card reader was done away with at least testers had to be in the station to log in. Now folk just log in on smart phones my mind boggles. Is this actually progress to road safety?

    #157949 Reply


    The security issued here now being seen is not the first time DVSA have had this type of problem, it might be the first court case and conviction but the way the system is at the moment it does not seem to be secure enough to say that it will be the last. I talked this point over with senior people at DVSA quite some time back when all this internet mot system was coming it, back then DVSA staff told me that they could not lock down the access to MTS at a Test Station, to be honest, I don’t agree, and if anyone in the mot scheme should be allowed access from another log in point like at home, then only by approval with DVSA senior staff should this be agreed.

    I do administration from home via MTS all the time, but I have the correct attitude and approach to the scheme to not enter the mot test section of MTS except when at our VTS doing the actual testing. This is not a training needs analysis requirement for people in the trade, this is clearly in my understanding a character issue, and DVSA should put more effort into understanding people in the mot trade, rather than not taking an active role on the shop floor where it is required to learn and understand the people involved.

    #157950 Reply

    Robert Mabee

    Unbelievable – The AE should have removed his role when the NT left and the other NT tester/ers should have noticed the increase mot test slots being used daily or weekly if the AE were printing off the reports made available correctly the scam would have flagged up, also why wasn’t DVSA not noticing different IP addresses (computers) l should imagine as in our case we use the Same computer to log on to test and then enter results. Unfortunately you are always going to have rouge testers that will flaunt the system which makes firstly a mockery of the testing system and makes it harder for the majority Of testers that are honest in testing and take the task of testing serious.

    #157952 Reply


    It should be a requirement of quality control to prove that logs have been checked. That would elimimate this. In reality, this idiot logged 20 tests over six months- that’s not a huge amount, and I can understand how it would be missed… How many places that do free re-tests keep a full log of every single one that actually gets checked? I know my old place didn’t, despite me setting up an easy way to do so! Ip adresses are so easy to check, a quick scan of the list once a day/week/month at a stretch would be simple!

    #157953 Reply



    #157954 Reply

    Peter Miles

    As everyone says above although this man is a complete crook the garage itself has shown some serious shortcomings in their administration. If they had run their business properly this would have been seen straight away!
    We all know that the current system permits this to happen but surely that’s why we can access the system to keep an eye on things. Even the simplest check of test slots used against tests charged for would have shown this up.

    #157955 Reply


    The site AE and or its site manager should also
    be held to account as there is no excuse for letting
    this go unchecked for 6 months!
    We would notice at the end of any given week if this
    Was happening despite the large volume we complete!
    Very poor site AE and I’m amazed VOSA have not suspended
    the garage from the sceam for poor admin!

    #158585 Reply


    The company saying there they couldn’t have done more is a cop out. From within the system you can easily get a report that shows the IP address of where a MOT was logged on from. The should all be the same IP as the garage WAN ip address (outside facing address). If there are any that are different then they should be flagged and investigated. Quite simple and effective. Myself as a AE take full responsibility for my MOT testers and I audit every 2 weeks.

    #158763 Reply


    It will be wise to find other form of ID for the Authorised garages so that testers have no access to.

    #159698 Reply

    ERic remington

    I live and work in US. In Virginia, 20 years back, was working at a garage and an inspector put a valid approved inspection sticker on a vehicle for a year, at the price of 50 dollars. In plain sight, everyone could see a huge crack in windshield. I should have reported his arse

    #159699 Reply

    ERic REmington (US)

    In VA USA an inspector goes to State police website fills out paperwork and then manually writes sticker and places on windshield. stickers are under lock and key. Perhaps there needs to be a better control system in the UK?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)


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