A MAN who posed as a mobile hairdresser to get a £21,000 car loan was given a suspended prison sentence.

Lee Griffiths, 29, of Newport Road, Caldicot, appeared at Cardiff Crown Court after previously pleading guilty at a magistrates’ court to fraud by false representation.

Prosecuting, Tony Trigg, said Griffiths had taken out a car loan in April 2010 for £21,498.60 from Black Horse Finance to buy a Vauxhall Astra, which he bought from Motorpoint in Newport.

When taking out the loan Griffiths declared himself as a mobile hairdresser when he was actually unemployed and in receipt of jobseekers’ allowance.

The defendant made four payments towards the loan but Black Horse Finance was left being owed £19,718.09 after Griffiths failed to make any further payments.

Inquiries were made but the company were unsuccessful and couldn’t recover the car.

Representing Griffiths, Ben Waters said the defendant had swapped the car with a person through a website a year later.

In July 2011, the new owner had contacted Black Horse Finance to check if there were any problems. Police were informed of the matter in September 2011 but, due to investigations, Griffiths wasn’t charged until August this year.

Mr Waters said four months into paying the loan, there were mechanical problems with the car and Griffiths had contacted Black Horse Finance in relation to his financial difficulties. He said Griffiths accepted the car belonged to Black Horse Finance without the total amount being repaid.

Griffiths also pleaded guilty to an offence of possession of cocaine following an incident on February 2 when, during a search, he was found in possession of digital scales which had traces of cocaine on them.

Recorder Jeremy Jenkins sentenced Griffiths to 24 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months for the charge of fraud by false representation.

Griffiths was also sentenced to seven days imprisonment suspended for 18 months for possession of cocaine, to run concurrently.

Griffiths was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.