London, Mar 19 (ANI): A British property tycoon, who lost his 130,000 pounds Lamborghini sports car after he became too drunk to remember where he parked it, has been accused of trying to swindle an insurance company.
Guildford Crown Court was told Glenn Knowles, 35, and co-owner of the car, Richard Mant, 39, reported it to police as stolen, and put in an insurance claim for the vehicle, which has never been traced.
They were subsequently charged with conspiring to commit fraud between December 2008 and March 5 last year.
"This is a car that was reported stolen at a time when it was obviously still in their possession," the Telegraph quoted Simon Connolly, prosecuting, as saying.
"They are two young men who tried to con the insurance company and the police," he stated.
But the jury accepted Knowles's claim, after a six-day trial, that he had no idea what happened to the car after his drunken night out, and they acquitted both him and Mant.
The court heard the Lamborghini had not been recovered, despite being fitted with a tracking device.
Knowles said he had been "drinking heavily and going through a bad time" when the offences were alleged to have been committed.
Richard McConaghy, defending said, both men claimed they had "no motive to commit the fraud", and had had no intention of disposing of the vehicle.
They had owned a string of high-powered expensive cars since they were in their early 20s.
The court heard that Mant parked the Lamborghini outside his home in Epsom, Surrey, on December 17, 2008, and in the morning he realised it was missing and his neighbour informed him he had seen the car being driven away the day before.
Mant, who owns MSJ Joinery and The London Staircase Company, called Knowles, who claimed he had no knowledge of the car's whereabouts.
When the car was tracked on automatic number plate recognition systems it was being driven towards Gillingham, Kent.
Knowles told the court he had gone into Mant's home and taken the keys before driving to Gillingham where he had seen his parents in the pub.
He said he might have driven the car whilst drunk to Rochester, where he continued drinking. But he did not think he would have taken it to Maidstone where his drunken evening ended.
He said that before taking a taxi to his home, he had been unable to find the car. He dropped the keys at Mant's house and didn't tell anyone what he had done, he told the jury.
Mant, a father of three, who started his first business when he was 20, said he had not been hit by the recession and he could afford the 500 pounds a month repayments on the car.
He said he was not aware of the alleged deception until police interviewed him. (ANI)