JUDGES told the tale today of a Yorkshire father who wanted a red Jaguar for his daughter's wedding and traded in his silver model with a "thoroughly charming" car salesman.
It turned out the salesman, whom Paul Quinn met outside the car showroom where he worked, was a "rogue" and the father ended up with a 14,500 bill after a finance company sued him for not paying instalments on the silver Jag.
Abeed Khan had been employed by the Carcraft showroom but Mr Quinn lost his original case against the dealers because a county court judge ruled the father should have been suspicious about the transaction.
But today three judges at the Court of Appeal reversed the ruling, saying there was no reason for Mr Quinn to be "put on inquiry" by a salesman "apparently very helpful (and plausible) doing everything he could to ensure delivery of the red Jaguar in time for the wedding".
Lord Justice Gross said the issue they had to decide was which of the two innocent parties, Mr Quinn or the car dealer, "should bear the loss caused by a rogue".
The judge said the story began in 2005 when Mr Quinn, from Broadlands, Meltham, Holmfirth, was looking forward to his daughter's wedding on July 22 and wanted a Jaguar, preferably red, for the occasion.
He went to the Carcraft showroom in Leeds where he met Mr Khan and agreed to buy a blue Jaguar with his silver Jaguar in part-exchange.
It was part of the deal that Carcraft would be responsible for clearing the outstanding debt with Black Horse on his silver Jaguar together with arranging hire purchase for the new model.
Later that day, Mr Khan telephoned Mr Quinn's wife to say he had found a red Jaguar and invited the pair to the showroom the next day.
They were told the car was in Bury and after seeing pictures on a computer, agreed to buy it and their 500 deposit on the blue model was returned.
The transaction took place at a service station on the M62 when the finance agreement for the red car was signed with the same 7,500 part-exchange price for his silver Jaguar.
Neither thought it odd that the deal had taken place at the service station.
Lord Justice Gross said: "Mrs Quinn said that they thought Mr Khan was thoroughly charming and doing everything he could to ensure that they had the red Jaguar in time for the July 22 wedding."
Mr Quinn cancelled the standing order for payments on the silver Jaguar but in August 2005, he received a letter from Black Horse telling him the money owed had not been paid.
It turned out that Mr Khan had sold the silver Jaguar without settling the money owed on it.
The finance company then sued Mr Quinn and obtained judgment for 11,134 plus costs of 3,372.
The red Jaguar had never belonged to Carcraft and despite inquiries it has never been established who owned it.
Lord Justice Gross said the fate or the red car was also uncertain; counsel could not tell the court whether Mr Quinn still had it.
Although Mr Quinn won an earlier judgment against Mr Khan, it must be assumed to be worthless, said the judges.
But he lost his case against Carcraft after a county court judge found that Mr Quinn should have been alerted when Mr Khan asked for a 700 deposit on the red car but was willing to accept 400 with the balance to follow later.
By reversing the ruling, Lords Justices Gross, Sullivan and Mummery put the burden of debt on Carcraft which no longer employs Mr Khan.
Tim Welton, Mr Quinn's solicitor, explained later that his client had voluntarily surrendered the red Jaguar because he could not afford to pay two finance agreements.
"Not only that, the car had happy memories at first of his daughter's wedding but later became the cause of much stress. He was glad to get rid of it."
Mr Welton said the case should be a warning to employers to check the references of employees or they could end up paying damages.