A ROGUE car dealer from Brierley Hill who sold a string of death trap vehicles has been locked up for a year.

Judge Michael Challinor told 38-year-old Geoff Badlan - branded the worst car trader in the borough - it was clear he had caused "an immense amount of damage and upset to a lot of people."

The judge said a spell behind bars had to be passed to "deter other unscrupulous motors who try to deceive members of the public."

He further hit Badlan, formerly of Stourbridge Road, Brierley Hill, with an ASBO forbidding him from having any involvement in the motor trade for the next ten years.

Mark Jackson, prosecuting, described Badlan who was warned he could receive a five year jail term if he breached the order as a "menace to the public."

He told Wolverhampton Crown Court that Badlan sold cars on internet sites and from garages on the Himley Road in Dudley and at West Lake Motors in High Street, Pensnett.

Badlan sold a Volkswagen Golf GTI with a catalogue of problems, said Mr Jackson, claiming the vehicle was in superb condition and it had just two previous owners.

But in fact the car had 14 previous owners and its MOT had run out seven months earlier than claimed in an advertisement for the vehicle.

The man who bought the car immediately took it back to Badlan when the passenger seat shot forwards just minutes after he drove off the forecourt only to be told "a deal is a deal."

Mr Jackson said Badlan sold a number of unroadworthy cars having mislead members of the public with vehicles failing to match up with claims made in adverts.

Trading Standards had received numerous complaints from customers and an investigation was then launched alongside the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and the police.

Officers called at Badlan's business premises where a string of cars in extremely poor condition were found on sale and prohibition notices banning their sale were quickly slapped on nine vehicles including Mercedes, Vauxhall Astra's and Ford Mondeo's.

Mr Jackson said: "A number of distressed customers attended the sites while the officers were there. One lady became particularly distressed as she had attended to collect a courtesy car because the car Badlan sold her had broken down."

But just four days later Badlan sold to another unsuspecting couple a Mercedes car that he had been banned from keeping on sale.

Badlan pleaded guilty to six charges under the Road Traffic Act, sixteen offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and two under the Companies Act.

In court Badlan, who is now living in Hall Road, Norwich, maintained that at the time of the offences his marriage was breaking down and he had a number of other family problems.