Saturday, 16 November 2013

Is Jonathan Langham of ParkingEye a reliable witness? Part 1

The Prankster has seen a fair amount of 'witness statements' from Jonathan Langham (claim handler) of ParkingEye. A true witness statement is meant to be a statement of facts in the knowledge of the witness.Where the statements are not made from direct knowledge, the witness should state the source of information.

In contrast, the witness statements of Jonathan Langham are made up largely of untruths, misleading interpretations, unsubstantiated allegations, and statements not backed up with any sources.

ParkingEye usually file the witness statement of Jonathan Langham a few days before the filing deadline. They also use the witness statement as a thinly veiled excuse to present new evidence and raise new legal arguments. Typically this will include a six page justification of their charges, and possibly a heavily redacted version of the contract, a landowner witness statement and a landowner letter of authority.

This is a clear abuse of process. Introducing new legal arguments at this stage requires the permission of the court and may require a fee to be paid. ParkingEye know full well what they are doing, and this is a cynical attempt to manipulate the court process by dumping large amounts of new information on the defendant at the last minute. the contact alone is two pages of densely typed verbiage.

Jonathan Langham never appears in court. It is obvious why. His witness statement would be savaged if a defendant ever got the chance to question him. The Prankster has asked many times for Jonathan Langham to appear in court but he never does. Recently he has taken to claiming this is to save money.

The Prankster will now examine the contents of one witness statement in detail. As usual, Jonathan Langham did not appear in court to defend it. The Prankster never got the chance to question the statement because the LPC lawyer asked for the case to be adjourned because he was not prepared. ParkingEye subsequently dropped the case.

So far so good.

So, uh,why did ParkingEye submit several pictures of signs showing the charge was £80, not £85 in their detailed particulars. Were these signs even of the correct car park? ParkingEye have form for submitting signs from the wrong car park. (3QT51179 ParkingEye v Lomax).


No Letter Before Action (LBA) was ever received. This is a common theme and The Prankster has helped many defendants where ParkingEye say they sent an LBA but it was never received. ParkingEye were asked to produce a copy of this mysterious LBA and also proof of postage, but declined.

This is incorrect in many ways. ParkingEye never sent the Particulars of Claim until much later, due to a failure of their mail provider, IMail. They even sent a letter from IMail confirming the problem.

The 'copy of all correspondence' does not mention the LBA or contain a copy of it. ParkingEye only start claiming they send an LBA at a much later date in proceedings. This is therefore contradictory evidence. On the on hand Jonathan Langham is saying an LBA is sent out; on the other he is saying it was not sent out. of course, we have already mentioned that the signage in this particulars of claim is contradictory to his earlier statements.

This is an unsubstantiated allegation, which The Prankster happens to know is not true. The original defence was prepared by Bargepole, who has won many cases against parking companies, and did not come from an online forum at all.

It is ironic that he is complaining about receiving many identical defences when ParkingEye sometimes file 1000 identical court claims a week.

This is a deliberate misinterpretation of the facts. Here is the actual text from their letters.

As you can clearly see, appeals are only accepted for the period of 28 days from their first letter. This means that for the third letter on, the information tells you there is an appeals procedure, but also tells you you cannot use it. However, by pretending to the court that there is an appeals procedure, ParkingEye try and misinterpret the facts to smear the defendant as uncooperative in an attempt to claim large costs. As we can see from their own news page, Judges are usually wise to this trick.

The appeals procedure also states that POPLA is only available in extenuating circumstances.This is not correct. POPLA is available whenever an appeal is rejected. ParkingEye are well known for failing to provide POPLA codes and for providing POPLA codes that do not work, as POPLA themselves can confirm.

This is a clear abuse of process. Jonathan Langham, in the guise of documenting the reply to defence, is introducing many new legal arguments.

References to ParkingEye v Shelley are completely new. The quotes from Combined Parking Solutions v De Brunner and Combined Parking Solutions v Rees are new, although the cases are mentioned.

Jonathan Langham states all signage is clear and ample. The Prankster has previously devoted a whole blog article to showing that is not true, with signs behind bushes, in trees and whole areas with no signs at all.

Jonathan Langham states the signage is in line with BPA regulations. The Prankster has another article comparing ParkingEye's entrance signage (admittedly for a different site, but the principle still holds) with the actual mandatory requirements for entrance signage.

Well, that is more than enough guff from Jonathan Langham that The Prankster can take in one sitting. Stay tuned for the rest of the article.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. References to authorities are utterly pointless without the approved judgement. None of these PE wins are reported cases.
    I am waiting for a chance to fight them on the contract but they always bravely run away.

  2. I have a case coming up where I'm helping the defendant, and we have one of Jonathan Langham's statements of truth, which is anything but. We've written to the Court saying that we don't accept the statement, and requesting the Court to summons JL to appear in person for questioning. Popcorn at the ready.

    1. The Parking Prankster is more than willing to sign a witness statement detailing the inaccuracies he has found in various Jonathan Langham statement of 'truths' while acting as lay defendant. The trouble is, this is going to be a big document...

    2. I have never understood how hearings go ahead without anyone from PE attending. Is really necessary to apply for a witness summons?

    3. Previously, PE have been submitting these statements in time for the defendant to respond with a detailed rebuttal, before the deadline of 14 days before the hearing. More recently, the PE statement arrives just before the deadline, and in the case mentioned above we didn't really have time to put together a detailed response, so have decided to try to get JL to attend the hearing and thrash out all the issues in person.

    4. They will fold. There is no way they will let him give evidence.

    5. He just won't turn up - he never does

  3. Jonathon Langham aside, the whole case presented to a court under PoFA is a misrepresentation anyway.
    Notice the many reference to the court advising them that if the driver didn't agree to the contractual charges he could have simp0ly not parked up and exited the car park. Also the question of signs.
    Taking these issues at face value a court may well agree. However bear in mind that under the PoFA an claim against the keeper cannot presume that the keeper knew anything at all of the contractual terms. How could he? He may have been in Hong Kong at the time the driver entered the car park. Also the signs wouldn't be known to him. Even if he did frequent that car park himself on other occasions they still cannot rely on the keeper knowing of them under PoFA.

    If they want to use the basis of contract and compliance with signs they should be going down the route of driver liability.

    Any time those specific parts are brought into a defence statement, or are mentioned in court by one of their LPC bloodhounds, they should be smacked down and brought to show how a KEEPER would know of the car park terms and conditions, and be able to read the signs and leave if not in agreement with them when the KEEPER was not actually there in the 1st place.

  4. Poor old Jonathan!

    Another one that thought his errm "career" at PE might have legs. Surely he realises that now Capita are in control the next form he might have to fill out is more likely than not to be for JSA. Capita take very few if any staff from the companies they acquire and certainly not from Jonathans paygrade

    Day by day the PE operation is being exposed as having more similarities with the type of "business" one might have found in 1920s Chicago.

    The internet is a big place and prospective employers routinely search it nowadays before deciding to hire someone.

    Poor old Jonathan will soon find out that the excuse "he was only obeying orders" does not cut the mustard.