Des Baldwin was checking the brakes on a car in the garage he’d replaced the break pads and wondered if the break fluid wanted changing as well. He was told by his bosses to charge the customer regardless of whether he did or not. Des would tell his customers that a lot of garages talked in technical jargon and the vast majority of customers are taken in by it. All these hidden extras all add up and when the customer gets the bill it could cost them an arm and a leg.
Des only did this with people he knew could afford to pay. He was also shrewd enough to suggest that he could do the work cheaper if they brought the car around to his house. He did everything from fixing scratches to replacing an engine. He had a good thing going with his mate Kevin Ford who worked at the car scrap yard in Byker. He rang him and if there was parts he needed they were taken out of a vehicle before it was crushed. Everything from tyres to new clutches was recovered from cars that had been involved in a RTA and were considered a write off.
Des had just finished his dinner when there was a knock at the door and a man in a suit asked him if he was Desmond Baldwin.’
Des looked the man up and down then asked the man what he wanted him for. At first he thought he was an undercover copper.
“I was told to call here if I wanted a job done on a car.’
“What is it that you want done?’
“A re-spray for a Jag.’
“Let’s have a look at it.’
“Des walked out of the path to the car that was parked outside of his gate.’
“He walked around it and spotted a dent in the side door.’
I see you’ve had a bump as well; do you want me to fix this as well.’
“I can fix anything if the price is right.’
“How about two hundred cash?’
“I would want at least three to do this job mate.’
“This is a rush job said the man when could you do it for.’
“Depends, I have a few other jobs lined up.’
“Drop them and just do this as a favour to a friend of mine.’
“Who would this friend be exactly?’
“Darren Ingles; do you know him?’
“Yes I’ve heard of him and I know this car was involved in a bank job in Manchester two months ago.’
“Can you do it or what?’
“Like I said I can do it for three hundred.’ it will be ready to pick up on Saturday.
“Change the plates will you.’
The man knew that Des had him over a barrel and the grand that Darren Ingles had given him to get the job done was being reduced. He hoped to pocket eight hundred quid for himself.
“Alright three fifty but that’s it; no more you hear me.’
“Fine by me but I want the money up front before I put on my overalls.
The man took out a wallet and counted the money out and gave it to Des.’
Des recounted it to make sure it was all there then said.’ Have you got the keys?’
“The man passed Des the keys to the jag.
“Come at ten o’clock on Saturday.’