A car wash employee writes off a customer’s rare Mercedes after dodging a MAUS

One of only 29 models in the UK, Kevin Murphy’s rare and immaculate 1992 Mercedes 550E was written off by Omid Abas when the car washer took the classic car for a 60-mile drive

Omid Abas
The classic Merc’s owner was horrified when Omid Abas tumbled him “to avoid a mouse”.

A car wash worker who is not legally allowed to drive has crashed a customer’s classic Mercedes and claims he wrote the classic car off after trying to save the life of a mouse.

Omid Abas, 41, was hired to give the vehicle a £30 super valet service but chose to take the car for a 60-mile trip.

But he crashed the prized, rare and pristine 1992 550E Merc that owner Kevin Murphy, 77, described as a “cherished and prized possession.”

That Manchester evening news reported that Warrington Magistrates Court heard he drove it for a 90-minute jaunt from the Runcorn car wash to his home in Stockport and back.

Just five miles before returning to town, he ran into trouble.

The car crashed after the worker’s 90-minute drive


Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

Omid Abas should only give the car valet parking


Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

In subsequent police interviews, Mr Abas claimed the accident happened as he swerved to avoid a mouse on the road.

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

Mr Murphy returned to collect the vehicle – one of only 29 models imported into the UK – only to find it had been virtually written off in an accident, with one wheel practically horizontal. Police investigations revealed that Abas had failed a British driving test.

In a statement, property owner Mr Murphy said the 30-year-old blue car, which has around 26,000 miles on the clock, was normally driven by a chauffeur, adding: “It was a treasured and valuable possession. Any serviced work has always been done by Mercedes and I have put a lot of effort into keeping the car in pristine condition.

Police found that Mr Abas had failed a British driving test


Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

The car was described by the owner as a “cherished and treasured possession”.


Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

“When I found out about the damage, I was incredibly upset. While I don’t feel vulnerable or intimidated by this, I’m now incredibly careful about who I entrust my vehicles to.

“Regarding all other changes in my quality of life, I had to spend time finding another vehicle to get spare parts. This is a very time consuming and difficult process. I am concerned that the car will become a write-off.” .

“I’m not at a loss at this time as no work has been done but I expect to pay around £5,000 out of my own money, not insurance, to have the vehicle fully repaired.”

In Warrington Magistrates’ Court, Abas pleaded guilty to aggravating a vehicle and driving without a license or insurance and was banned from driving for 12 months. A separate charge of driving without due care and attention was dropped. Despite the March 13 attack, Abas and Mr. Murphy are said to have been on “good terms.”

Angela Blackmore, prosecutor, said Mr Murphy regularly dropped off his Mercedes at Runcorn car wash, where valet parking could cost up to £60. The businessman owns the land where the car wash is located and has not agreed to drive the vehicle “other than around the yard where the car wash is located,” she said.

His 1992 Mercedes 550E is one of only 29 models in the UK


Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

Ms Blackmore said: “He said he had owned the car for 30 years and described it as a classic. It was in immaculate condition and was normally driven with a chauffeur. He returned the car with the keys to the car service Chester Road, Runcorn.

|He said he was the landowner of the land where the shop is located. He says he’s friendly to everyone who works there, but would not consent to anyone driving the vehicle outside of the yard where the valet is located.”

A police report revealed skid marks on the pavement and a strip of grass along Clifton Road, Runcorn, which changed direction once it reached a lamppost, crossed the road and onto the other pavement, then along another strip of grass before crashing into a brick wall.

“The length of the skid marks from start to finish was around 80 meters,” said the prosecutor. The damage to the vehicle was significant. The wheel well on the right was almost horizontal to the ground.” Abas was found lying next to the car and being treated by paramedics, Ms Blackmore added.

She said: “During the interview the defendant said the vehicle was taken to the car wash and he drove it to Stockport and back. He only had a provisional license. Regarding the accident, he said a mouse ran up the road and he started dodging to avoid it.”

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To mitigate Abas, who had no criminal record, defense attorney Philip Green said, “He shows a lot of remorse and that appears to be real remorse.” Fortunately, the victim in this case and the defendant remain on good terms regardless of the offences.

He’s not employed at the same car wash, but he’s been offered the job again. At that point, he decided not to accept the job offer.”

Abas was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year.

District Judge Mark Hadfield told him: “I’m afraid I don’t accept that you thought you had the consent of the owner of the vehicle – particularly as you intended to drive from Runcorn to your home in Stockport.

“After illegally taking the car, you lost control and it was involved in an accident, which clearly caused serious damage to the motor vehicle – a vehicle which was clearly valued by its owner and is likely to be of greater value to him than it is monetary value of the vehicle.

Abas was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £213 in costs and a victim’s surcharge. No compensation was ordered.

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