Saturday, 19 July 2014

Cambridge case hoax phone call

The first attempt at hearing the ParkingEye v Beavis and Wardley case failed due to a hoax phone call. ParkingEye wanted the appeal to be postponed because their preferred lawyer, Jonathan Kirk QC, was not available. HHJ Moloney declined to adjourn the case, so it was scheduled to go ahead with their back up lawyer David Altaras.

On the eve of the case somebody called David Altaras and impersonated Alex Cooke, ParkingEye's witness. He discussed aspects of the case with Mr Altaras that only somebody closely associated with the case could have known. He said that HHJ Moloney was ill, and that the case was postponed. Mr Altaras believed this and therefore did not turn up in court the next day.

HHJ Moloney was not best pleased that the hearing would not go ahead. He made it clear that he thought the hoax was made by someone associated with the defence, even though the defence had nothing to gain and were not likely to know aspects of the case that were discussed. Conversely, the claimant had a clear motive for delaying the hearing so that they could get their preferred lawyer to run the case. HHJ Moloney stated that the police had been asked to investigate, and that the responsible person would be facing a charge of contempt of court, which could lead to a stay at Her Majesty's pleasure.

Within a few days the police had identified the phone from which the hoax was made and arrested the owner, who apparently worked for Savilles. Savilles are the agent handling the car park concerned. The Prankster has information that a member of Kirk's chambers flew (literally) from London to Manchester and assisted him in police custody. He was later bailed. A little while later, the police arrested a second person, a legally qualified individual, and warned them they might be facing charges of perverting the course of justice, perjury and assisting an offender, with an application from the Crown to remand in custody. Mr Kirk's team is believed to have gone to work aiding this person too.

The Prankster has now heard that no charges will be preferred against the two arrested individuals; they are no longer on police bail. The police are apparently not looking for any other suspects.


As the police are not looking for any other suspects then the likelihood is that they they thought they arrested the right people in the first place. If this is true, the case will have been dropped either because if failed the evidential test or public interest test.

Failing the evidential test does not appear likely. The police will have traced the phone which made the call, and arrested the owner.

Failing the public interest test may be more likely. It is possible that HHJ Moloney, after finding that the phone belonged to a person associated with the claimant rather than the defendants decided to change his mind and not press for charges to be brought after all, in case this undermined his judgment.

The Prankster has to ask how much it will have cost in terms of barrister's fees and disbursements to fly to Manchester and assist the arrested individual. It is not usual for a barrister to attend a police station. This is a highly unusual situation which would only occur if something massive was at stake, or if somebody had deep pockets, or both.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. At least one pair of brown stained underpants have been scrubbed. Pity you can't remove the stink as well.

    What's apparent though is the fact that PE went to such lengths to "save" the 2 individuals concerned leading to a very well founded suspicion that they were implicated in it all too.

  2. Very fishy. Perhpas this sequence of events will have some relevance in the appeal hearing.

  3. Prankster, if you know who the individuals are you may well wish to instigate a private claim against them for the costs you wasted. You would only have to satisfy the civil burden of proof.

  4. HHJ Moloney should be aware that when he assumes, he makes an ass of u, me, and the law.

  5. The more you read this topic the more it stinks.
    1st: If the perpetrator had been someone known by or connected with the defence you can bet your life that the threat of contempt of court would have been taken up.
    Secondly, even if there was no direct known association with the ParkingEye team, you have to wonder how the person originally arrested had any details at all of the case. Even if he was responsible for one of the infamous Witness Statements on behalf of the landowner these are usually pre-drafted with a signature to insert to complete it. So he would have known absolutely nothing of the case or its progression through the court. Unless he was given information with intent by someone at PE. Would they? You bet they would. In any case, since the legally trained person was facing charges of assisting in the perverting of the course of justice then that draws a pretty conclusive picture.

    Next, this second person arrested had some legal capacity. Why on earth would HHJ Maloney overlook that fact and not take action? A qualified solicitor, lawyer of any sort for that matter, or even someone with known legal training really should be brought to face the full force of the law. They should know better, they would have known the consequences or should have done, so why let them walk away leaving egg stains all over the place.

    This really does stink to high heaven. Do we have a name of the legal person by any chance? Name and shame may be the only thing to do here.