Haverfordwest MOT fraud boss's apology advert

Image caption,
The 400 plus word advert appears on page three of the Western Telegraph newspaper

A garage owner convicted of a MOT fraud has taken out an advert in his local newspaper to apologise to customers.

Dylan James, 30, who runs Pope's Garage in Haverfordwest, was convicted by magistrates last month.

He took out an advert in the Western Telegraph in Pembrokeshire, stating it had been a "humbling lesson" and he wanted to "rebuild" his reputation.

"I deeply regret what happened . . . I apologise to every customer who was wronged," he wrote.

The businessman was convicted of nine offences of fraud in a case brought by Pembrokeshire council.

He was initially jailed for six months but released a week later after a crown court judge ruled that sentence was excessive and replaced it with fines and costs in excess of £5,000.

He had denied in court deceiving any customer.

In the advert in Wednesday's edition of the local weekly paper, he states: "The past few weeks have taught me a humbling lesson in life."

The statement runs in excess of 400 words.

'Small but important cog'

He wrote: "I have already pledged that those seven customers affected will have their money refunded as in line with the judges ruling.

"Nothing of this nature has ever happened to me before.

"I am a local man, brought up in Narberth, with a strong family and with proud connections with Sir Thomas Picton School in Haverfordwest.

"My dream was - and still is - to make a small but important cog in the economic wheel of Haverfordwest."

He wrote that some people would see his statement "as my way of lessening my guilt."

But he adds: "I can honestly say it is not."

He concludes: "My determination now is to rebuild the reputation of Dylan James and, more importantly, Pope's Garage."

Mr James has been asked to comment on the advert by the BBC.