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Man has fourth spy car fine overturned
6:10am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Southend
A MAN who has waged war on fines dished out by Southend’s spy cars has had a FOURTH ticket overturned on appeal.
Southend Council sent in the bailiffs when Roger Hutchison failed to settle a ticket issued last May.
Mr Hutchison, owner of Sumit(cor) Spares in Vanguard Way, Shoebury, was fined after his nephew and company partner John Hutchison left a firm’s van in a bay outside their business, Thorpe Bay Marine in Eastern Esplanade.
He heard no more about it until July when a bailiff phoned him on behalf of Southend Council demanding £287, which he refused to pay. Mr Hutchison fought the claim in the County Court, which found in his favour.
Mr Hutchison from Willingale Way, Thorpe Bay, branded the use of spy cars an “abuse of human rights”.
He said: “Last May parking was suspended outside my business in Thorpe Bay because utility companies were working on the road. There was nowhere else to park and we couldn’t get to our forecourt so we asked the guys doing the work if we could park in bays where they weren’t working and they said ‘yes’ as they wouldn’t be needing to work there that day.
“Then the spy car came along and booked the van!
“When I complained he just said take it up with the council.
“I didn’t hear anymore about it until the bailiff called. My solicitor advised me not to pay up because they had sent demands for payment to the wrong address in Vanguard Way.”
Mr Hutchison had in fact moved to another unit in Vanguard Way and notified the DVLA but they hadn’t updated his records so the council had been sending letters to the old address.
However, undetered, he mounted his appeal on the fact the council had made no attempt to establish whether they had the right address or sent any of the letters by registered post.
He also appealed because he had not been able to park on his own forecourt and had made a verbal agreement with workmen. The County Court upheld the appeal after the council decided not to contest it.
Relishing his latest victory, Mr Hutchison said: “Had it been a traffic warden on foot patrol I probably wouldn’t have even been given a ticket.
“The use of these cars is indiscriminate.
“They shouldn’t be used in normal parking situations. They are meant for illegal parking in dangerous situations like bus lanes, bus stops and schools.
“The council scams people into not appealing.
“It blackmails people into paying up by saying the fine doubles to £70 if not paid immediately, but people should appeal because these cars are not being used properly.”
MR HUTCHINSON’S OTHER THREE VICTORIES *In December 2011 Roger Hutchison was given a £50 penalty while swapping around cars on his driveway in Thorpe Bay. Mr Hutchison had an appeal to Southend Council turned down, but he took his fight to the Tribunal once more and in May last year he won his appeal.
*In June this year his daughter was fined after stopping in a restricted parking area in Thorpe Bay. She was ticketed after stopping for five minutes to help her grandmother out of her car. Mr Hutchison had the ticket overturned by the tribunal.
*And Mr Hutchison first fine was back in 2010. He unsuccessfully appealed it to Southend Council, yet it was eventually overturned by the national Traffic Penalty Tribunal. On October 9 in the County Court case of Sumit Spares v Southend Council Mr Hutchison’s appeal was upheld after the council failed to contest the case.
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