Jail threat for car-parts dealers

Two car-parts dealers face jail unless they stop trading under the name "Mini" because it has upset the current owners of the brand BMW.

The German motor giant took exception to Nick Miller and Jacqueline Warsap selling Mini memorabilia and accessories. The High Court handed them three-month suspended jail sentences.

Neither of them will end up in prison if they stop using the word "Mini", which was bought by Bavarian Motor Works in 1994.

A new version of the Mini, first built in 1959, was launched in 2001.

Mark Roscoe, representing Miller, 45, told Mr Justice Mann that his client has "almost an obsession regarding the classic Mini motor car".

"The business complained of is operated more as a hobby."

Miller and Warsap, 61, began selling Mini badges, customised extras and memorabilia for the original Mini together but later traded from separate shops in Benfleet, Essex.

They apologised to the judge through their lawyers for continuing to trade in defiance of a previous court order and agreed to abide by it.

Guy Tritton, representing BMW, said there had been a "complete failure" by the pair to comply with the order made in 2008.

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