Mr Fix-it caught 'flogging' customer's car
A COAST mechanic has received a suspended prison sentence after a customer's car ended up on Facebook Marketplace painted a different colour.
Nathan Leigh Perri, 31, was paid $2700 to fix the gear box of a Holden Senator in March 2017 at his mechanic workshop at Beerwah.
The owner didn't expect the exchange to be as complicated as it was.
The car's engine blew up while at the workshop and the owner paid Perri a further $5800 to rebuild it.
Perri's business then closed down and he took the car to a Peachester address to continue working on it.
The owner went to pick up his car in June, 2017.
"On this occasion the victim observed that there was damage to the front and back bumpers of the vehicle and there was no engine," police prosecutor Amanda Brewer said.
"The victim stated the defendant told him that the engine was in a safe other place."
Perri continued to work on the car and photo updates the owner received showed it had been painted white.
"The victim stated he didn't really like his vehicle painted totally white but was happy to see the vehicle back together and progress being made," Senior Constable Brewer said.
"The victim stated he last heard from the defendant about his vehicle about July or August 2018.
"He made numerous attempts to contact the defendant about his vehicle but could not get in touch with him."
On September 9, 2018 Perri was driving a Holden Senator with fake number plates when he was pulled over by Beerwah police.
The VIN number and engine number matched the owner's car and Perri told police he was tuning the car for the owner.
"(The victim) was happy to hear the defendant was still working on his vehicle as he had not had any contact with the defendant for some time," Sen Constable. Brewer said.
"The victim did not report the vehicle was stolen at this time as he now knew the defendant was still working on his vehicle."
The owner then saw his car for sale on Facebook Marketplace in March this year and organised to meet the seller at a service station, pretending he was an interested buyer.
He confirmed it was his car for sale by someone other than Perri and he reported the matter to police.
Perri refused to be interviewed about the matter.
At Caloundra Magistrates Court on Wednesday he pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
He had previously served time in prison for other offences.
Lawyer John McDonald said the bumper bars were taken off the car to replace the engine.
"As far as my client was aware the vehicle was always painted white, he doesn't know what other colour it had been so I don't really know what that's got to do with it," Mr McDonald said.
Mr McDonald said Perri claimed he had nothing to do with the car being sold on.
"What a work of fiction that all is," Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said.
'There are elements of dishonesty the whole way through that story of yours."
Perri was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years.