A businessman who builds amphibious cars has been warned he faces jail after supplying what a judge described as a "floating coffin" to a tour operator.

Tim Dutton, 59, of Worthing, was found guilty today of a trading standards offence after building and supplying a vehicle for use in the Lake District.

He now faces a possible sentence of up to two years in prison plus the possibility of an unlimited fine.

The judge also warned he would have to pay costs and compensation and was likely to be banned from holding a company directorship.

When Dutton's barrister Charlotte Eadie suggested that any financial penalty should be left until after the end of civil court proceedings, through which he has already been ordered to pay £33,860 compensation, Judge Paul Batty QC said: "He is not going to wriggle out of his responsibilities. That I will not countenance at all."

Dutton, former managing director of Amphibious Cars Ltd, of Littlehampton, was found guilty of "consenting or conniving at" supplying an amphibious vehicle whose claim that it was "for the purpose of carrying passengers on land and/or water" was false.

The company has now been wound up - just like eight other firms Dutton has been involved with since 1991.

The jury's unanimous guilty verdict was returned in less than an hour at Carlisle Crown Court.

Judge Batty told Dutton - appearing in court under his full name of Tim Dutton-Woolley: "In my judgment you were convicted - and in double quick time too - on overwhelming evidence."

The judge told him he found him "glib and dishonest" and warned him he deserved a "significant sentence".

He said the vehicle sold to Windermere businessman Adrian Cowdroy so he could provide family tours "straight from the mountain roads, down the slipway and onto the water" was "an absolute disgrace".

He said: "It was unsafe whether on land or on water. It was nothing short of a floating coffin."

During the trial Mr Cowdroy said he wanted to use the vehicle to give land-and-lake trips to tourists but said he had to give up his idea when he discovered it wasn't fit to be used either on land or water because it leaked and was unstable.

He said the vehicle - a specially converted long wheelbase Suzuki Jimny - was condemned as unroadworthy in a series of land-based inspections and refused a licence to be used on the lake when inspectors found it was not watertight.

Dutton was bailed on condition that he lives at his flat in Park Crescent, Worthing.

He will return to court to be sentenced on May 28.