A businessman has been put behind bars for supplying an unsafe campervan.

Paul Finney, 39, was jailed for 38 months after pleading guilty to fraud charges brought by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC).

Finney was trading as Mid Cheshire Conversions from units in Winsford’s Woodford Park Industrial Estate at the time of the offence.

The conversion of one campervan was so badly carried out that improperly installed gas appliances posed a carbon monoxide risk and poorly wired electrics posed a risk of fire.

The faulty campervan had gaps likely to allow fumes into the living area
The faulty campervan had gaps likely to allow fumes into the living area

Mid Cheshire Conversions has since ceased training.

Sentencing Finney to 32 months for each of the 16 counts of fraud to be served concurrently and an additional six months for safety breaches, the judge referred to the flagrant disregard to product safety regulations demonstrated by Finney’s actions, as well as their impact on his 16 victims whose dreams were shattered.

Now CWaC’s Trading Standards Service is advising campervan owners to be sure their vehicle is safe to use.

'Serious defects'

Cllr Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, said: “There were serious defects with this campervan conversion that could have resulted in dreadful consequences.

“We would urge anyone who has concerns about the safety of their campervan to get it checked by a properly qualified expert to ensure that it is both safe on the road and safe to live in.”

When booking a safety check, campervan owners need to be sure that they know the extent of the checks that their chosen expert can carry out.

It may necessary to consult different experts to look at the habitation area and the base vehicle.

The general roadworthiness of the base vehicle can be assessed during an MOT.

Consumers who are unsure how to locate an expert to check the safety of the living area may wish to consider the Approved Workshop Scheme, which is a joint enterprise between the National Caravan Council, The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club.

Advice about consumer rights is available from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506 or alternatively click here.