Letter from Jane Hartwig Senior Investigation Officer for the Ombudsman of the Northern Territory regarding Complaint against Senior Constable Westra van Holthe and Mr Michael Rowley and sale of Toyota Troop Carrier dated 14 February 2004
Tabled paper 1286
Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled By Christopher Burns
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
9. the information before it, however, that it is more probable that the 13A receipt was in fact filled out later than the 4th March 2003. Application to Register/Renew/Transfer B/Sgt Wenn says that he filled in the Application to Register/Renew/Transfer a Vehicle form on behalf of S/Const Westra Van Holthe on 4th March 2003 and completed the field marked date of sale (from yourself to S/Const Westra Van Holthe) as 4/03/03. He was asked about his knowledge about the date of sale and said that he doesnt know when you sold the vehicle to S/Const Westra Van Holthe. He recalled however that when he was in Katherine prior to 2nd March 2003, S/Const Westra Van Holthe told him hed bought the vehicle a few weeks ago and wanted to sell it, and that they then discussed S/Const Westra Van Holthe selling it at Lajamanu. The JRC concludes that B/Sgt Wenn knew that S/Const Westra Van Holthe didnt purchase the vehicle from you on the 4th of March 2003. Again the JRC notes that this form was nevertheless a declaration by S/Const Westra Van Holthe and was signed by him as correct on 17th March 2003 when he had access to the MVR remittance package in Katherine. Whether B/Sgt Wenn has strictly speaking committed the offences stated above is a matter for a Court. Initial indications are that there is good reason to investigate the possibility of a prosecution. The JRC is advised that this matter has been referred to the ODPP for an opinion as to whether or not there is sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution against B/Sgt Wenn. The PRC has also referred the matter to NT Treasury and the Motor Vehicle Registry for such action as those agencies think fit. 2. You also allege that B/Sgt Wenn acted as an agent for S/Const Westra Van Holthe in selling the vehicle and has, therefore, committed an offence of being an unlicensed dealer, contrary to s.128 of the Consumer Affairs & Fair Trading Act. B/Sgt Wenn is not a licensed motor vehicle dealer within the meaning of the Consumer Affairs & Fair Trading Act. That Act provides that it is an offence to carry on the business of a dealer without a licence. A person who sells 4 or more motor vehicles during any period of 12 months is to be presumed, until the contrary is proved, as having sold them in the course of carrying on a business of selling motor vehicles. A dealer is defined as a person who buys sells offers for sale or exchange motor vehicles as a business... Sell is defined as to sell as principal or agent. The investigators searched the MVR database which revealed that B/Sgt Wenn had not sold any cars in his own name (i.e as principal) in a twelve month period around the 4th of March 2003, and that transactions prior to and after that by himself and his wife were consistent with normal household car ownership. B/Sgt Wenn denies that he acted as agent in the sale of the vehicle to Mr Rockman. Whether he acted as an agent within the meaning of the Consumer Affairs & Fair Trading Act is the issue here. The term agent is not defined in the Act, but the definition of dealer implies that the sale is conducted for reward. B/Sgt Wenn says that he was not paid or rewarded in any way for this role in the sale of the vehicle. S/Const Westra Van Holthe confirms this and there is no evidence that contradicts it.
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