Omega Speedmaster watch deposit
A rare Parradine Pegasus sports car was sold to a buyer, Mr Smith, in May 2009. The buyer also wanted to buy a Jaguar V12 race engine that I was rebuilding for it, but would not be completed for some weeks. He asked if I would accept the above watch he valued at £750, as a deposit on the engine, to which I agreed and I gave him a receipt for this amount. I estimated that the completed engine would cost approximately £3,000 depending on specification. He was to contact me and supply the specification to which he wanted the engine built.
I had no contact with Mr Smith until approximately May 2011 and could not contact him, as he had moved from Glasgow to the Midlands and I had no contact address/phone number for him. At this stage, the only contact had been by ‘phone, hence, no email address. Also, I was still waiting for him to confirm the specification of the engine.
Just prior this, February 2011, I sustained a compound fracture to my ankle, requiring extensive surgery. I received an email from him sometime around May 2011, asking if the engine was finished, as he was of the opinion that the £750 deposit was full payment for it and that he had been too busy to contact me until this time. I replied by email, and reminded him that this was not the case and referred him to the receipt I had given him. Owing to my ankle problem and not being fit to work on the engine for several months, I gave him the option of taking the engine “as is” and provided a detailed build list and costs as what had been done prior to my accident, and full details of work outstanding along with costs. In the “as is” condition it would cost him £1500 with further £1000 needed to complete the engine. The other option being to wait until such time as my ankle had fully healed. This was all recorded in my email.
There was no reply to this email and no further contact from Mr Smith until December 2014. On this basis and being annoyed and greatly inconvenienced at having to constantly move this large and heavy (300+kgs) piece of machinery around my garage, I decided to sell the engine to another buyer in August 2014. At nearly seventy years of age, I believe pushing this engine around over several years, resulted in severe spinal damage, leading eventually to deep spinal surgery to insert titanium screws and rods between L4 and L5 vertebra. My wife, who is a GP, is also of this opinion.
Having not heard anything from him for three years, I decided to sell the watch on eBay in February 2014 and it achieved £1650.
In early December 2014 Mr Smith ‘phoned me and demanded that I return his watch and was subjected to an hour long rant when I informed him that I had disposed of the watch. In February 2015 I was contacted by the local police who informed they had received a complaint via the Wiltshire police that Mr Smith had accused me of stealing
his watch as he had seen it listed on eBay