Car wash worker crashes rare Mercedes on joyride after swerving to ‘avoid a mouse’

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A customer’s classic Mercedes was trashed after he dropped it off for a valet and it was taken a 60-mile drive. Owner Kevin Murphy, 77, described the rare and pristine 1992 550E Mercedes-Benz as “a cherished and prized possession”.

Omid Abas, 41, was assigned to give the vehicle a £30 “super valet” but instead, the took it for a 90-minute spin from the car wash in Runcorn to his home in Stockport and back again, crashing it just five miles short of his return, reported the Manchester Evening News.

Abas told police that the crash happened when he swerved to avoid a mouse in the road, a prosecutor said.

The court heard thousands of pounds worth of “significant” damage was caused to the car.

When Mr Murphy returned to pick up the vehicle – one of only 29 models imported to the UK – one wheel was virtually horizontal and the car was practically a write-off.

It was later discovered that Abas had never passed a driving test in the UK.

Mr Murphy said the 30-year-old blue car, which only has around 26,000 miles on the clock and was usually chauffeur driven.

He added: ”It was a cherished and prized possession.

“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.

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“With regards to any other changes to my quality of life, I had to devote time to locate another vehicle to obtain spare parts from.

“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 court, Abas pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and driving without a licence or insurance, and was banned from driving for 12 months.

Another charge of driving without due care and attention was withdrawn.

Surprisingly, despite the crash, Abas and Mr Murphy were said to be on “good terms”.

Prosecutor Angela Blackmore said: “During interview, the defendant said the vehicle had been dropped off to the car wash and he drove it to Stockport and back.

“He only had a provisional driving licence. In relation to the crash, he stated a mouse ran on the road and he started to swerve to avoid it.”

Defence lawyer Philip Green said: “He shows a lot of remorse and this appears to be genuine remorse.

“Happily, notwithstanding the offences, the victim in this case and the defendant remain on good terms.

“He is not employed at the same car wash but he was offered his job back. He has decided at this stage not to accept the offer of employment.”

Abas was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, plus 150 hours of unpaid work and £213 in costs.

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