Car wash worker, 41, smashed up customer’s classic Mercedes on a 60-mile joyride after he was told to give it a ‘super valet’
- Omid Abas, 41, caused thousands of pounds of damage to classic Mercedes car
- Car wash worker took the car on joy ride after it had been dropped off for a valet
- Abas crashed after claiming he swerved to avoid mouse running across the road
- He was sentenced to suspended 12 month prison sentence at Magistrates Court
A car wash worker smashed up a customer’s classic Mercedes during a 60-mile joyride after he was assigned to give it a ‘super valet’.
Omid Abas, 41, caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the rare 1992 550E vehicle after he lost control of it whilst trying to avoid a mouse that scampered across the road.
The Mercedes’ owner Kevin Murphy, 77, returned to pick up the vehicle – one of just 29 models imported to the UK – only to find it had virtually been written off in the smash with one wheel almost horizontal.
Police inquiries revealed Abas had earlier taken the car for a 90 minute spin from his workplace in Runcorn, Cheshire, to his home in Stockport, Greater Manchester and then back again.
Iranian-born Abas, who has not passed a UK driving test, crashed the car just five miles away from where it was due to be returned.
In a statement, property landlord Mr Murphy said the 30-year-old blue car which has around 26,000 miles on the clock, was usually chauffeur driven and added: ‘It was a cherished and prized possession.
Car wash worker Omid Abas has been spared jail after he smashed up a customer’s classic Mercedes during an illicit 60-mile joyride when he was assigned to give it a ‘super valet’
The Mercedes is one of only 29 imported into the UK and was usually chauffeur driven, according to its owner who says it was virtually written off. Pictured: A 1992 Mercedes 500
‘Every serviced piece of work was always done on it by Mercedes and I devoted a lot of my effort to keeping the car in pristine condition.
‘When I learned of the damage I was incredibly upset. While I do not feel vulnerable or intimidated as a result of this, I am now incredibly cautious about who I trust my vehicles with.
‘I had to devote time to locate another vehicle to obtain spare parts. This is a very time consuming and difficult process. I am worried that the car will be a write-off.
‘Currently, I am not at a loss as no work has been carried out but I expect to pay around £5,000 of my own money, not insurance, to have the vehicle fully repaired.’
At Warrington Magistrates Court, Abas pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and driving without a license or insurance and was banned from driving for 12 months.
A separate charge of driving without due care and attention was withdrawn. Despite the smash Abas and the victim are still said to be on ‘good terms’.
Pictured: Abas admitted aggravated vehicle taking and driving without a licence or insurance at Warrington Magistrates Court
Angela Blackmore, prosecuting, said Mr Murphy had regularly dropped off the prized vehicle at the Runcorn car wash where valets cost up to £60.
The businessman owns the land on which the car wash is based and did not consent to any driving of the vehicle ‘other than around the courtyard’ of where the car wash is.
Mrs Blackmore said: ‘He said he had been the owner of the car for 30 years and he described it as a classic. It was in immaculate condition and usually chauffeur driven.’
The incident occurred on March 13 after Abas who had been assigned to give the vehicle a £30 ‘super valet’ took the car to his home before losing control of it as he was about to arrive back at his workplace.
A police report of the accident scene described skid marks on a pavement and grass verge, which changed direction once reaching a lamp post, crossing the road and onto the other pavement then along another grass verge before crashing into a wall.
‘The length of the skid marks from start to finish was around 80m,’ the prosecutor said, adding: ‘The damage to the vehicle was significant. The near-side wheel arch was nearly horizontal with the ground.’
Abas was found lying beside the vehicle and was treated in an ambulance next to the crashed Mercedes, later telling investigators a mouse ran on the road and he started to swerve to avoid it.
In mitigating for Abas, who had no previous convictions, defence lawyer Philip Green said: ‘He shows a lot of remorse and this appears to be genuine remorse.
Abas was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year.
District Judge Mark Hadfield told him: ‘Having taken the car unlawfully you lost control and crashed it causing what is clearly severe damage to the motor vehicle – a vehicle which was clearly cherished by its owner and probably has a value to him more than the vehicle’s monetary value.’
Abas was ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £213 in costs and a victim surcharge. No order for compensation was made.
Only around 10,500 Mercedes 500E were built between 1990 to 1995 in partnership with Porsche. Only 29 of the models were imported to the UK.