A DODGY motor dealer has been ordered to stay away from one of his former employees after he was convicted of sending him a threatening text.

John Hallisey, 41, came to the attention of the courts earlier this year after it was found he was selling insurance write-off cars to unsuspecting customers via eBay.

But he was quizzed by police again after it emerged he had sent an offensive text to Kevin McDougall, who he had once employed to build him a website.

Speaking after the case, Mr McDougall said Hallisey's text had threatened "to expose him as a paedophile", a completely false allegation.

And Mr McDougall said the 41-year-old was also trying to spread other bogus accusations, including that he was suffering from hepatitis.

Hallisey, of Todmorden Road, Bacup, pleaded guilty to sending a text message which conveyed a threat which may cause distress or anxiety, on December 20 last year.

Burnley magistrates imposed a five-year restraining order, banning him from making any reference to Mr McDougall in public or via social media.

Hallisey, formerly of Rochdale Road, Todmorden, was fined £150 and also ordered to pay Mr McDougall £200 in compensation alongside £85 court costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Mr McDougall added: "He even offered me a full-time job, around that time. But I think he was just looking for a fall guy."

Hallisey traded as JH Car and Vans and Argento, from premises in Bacup, and was prosecuted after he failed to tell online buyers about the condition of vehicles he was selling and supplied inaccurate details concerning their previous owners.

One victim paid £1,295 for a Kia Picanto but later discovered it had been an insurance write-off, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Another put down a £200 deposit on a Suzuki SX4 - which Hallisey claimed was in excellent condition. However furthe checks again revealed it to be a write-off.

Hallisey, who pleaded guilty to engaging in unfair commercial practices, eventually compensated the two victims, and two other drivers who were duped in similar cases.

He was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence and 200 hours community service. He was also ordered to pay £2,000 court costs.