Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Merriveen v Proserve

Merriveen is a small haulage firm working from Felixstowe. On 21/10/2013 one of Merriveen's vehicles was parked for 3 minutes while the driver got delivery paperwork. Proserve issued a ticket for £180. In Proserve v Hamblion Mr Duff of Proserve stated under oath that he always has a word with drivers first and asks them to move. However, it appears he lied under oath because this did not happen in this case (or indeed many others), and thus he consistently fails to mitigate any losses due under trespass laws.

The charge was then increased to £300 'under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012'. Merriveen then supplied the name and address of the driver to Proserve. This discharges their liability as vehicle keeper but Stephen Duff emailed back to say they did not have the option to name the driver. This is of course a misuse of the data supplied to Proserve by the DVLA. If Proserve state they are pursuing a keeper under POFA 2012, then the keeper's liability is discharged by providing the driver's details.

Merriveen was then banned from Felixstowe by Proserve and the managing agents, Bidwells, but they just ignored the ban and continued about their business much to the annoyance of the managing agent Mr Hart from Bidwells.

Mr Hart therefore wrote a malicious email to all Merriveen's clients telling them the owner had been arrested for attempted murder and must therefore be banned from the empty container off-hire yards. This rendered Merriveen's business inactive, so Merriveen had no option but to call in the police.

The police were most helpful.  Damien Richer of  Suffolk police is familiar with Mr Duff and his tactics. He made Mr Hart write a retraction email, but this was on the understanding that Merriveen paid the ticket in full, and recovered it in court. The ticket had now increased for undisclosed reasons from £180 to £2035. As The Prankster's readers will know from previous blogs. Mr Duff has a creative approach to invoices and does not appear to believe that the amount on any invoice should be fixed for eternity, but is a fluid figure which can move upward without reason at any time.

 Merriveen took Proserve to court and won on the basis that Mr Duff did not sign his defence and it was therefore inadmissible. Mr Duff made it clear outside the courtroom that he would not be paying, and the day after the case restarted the hate campaign, once again trying to get Merriveen banned from the yards.

Mr Duff's court bluster turned out to be bluff, and he has now paid the judgment in full, following pressure from a firm in Liverpool experienced in these matters.

Meanwhile, the signage, rubbished by HHJ Moloney in a recent case, is still present all round Trinity Distribution park Felixstowe and Ransomes Europark Ipswich. Stephen Duff has not been seen in Felixstowe recently. This may be coincidence or may be due to his recent Facebook campaign to find the home addresses of various people, including The Prankster.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. I'm surprised that the police took no further action against Mr Hart over that email.

  2. They can only use PoFA if they are a member of an approved operators scheme.
    Seems that they are also using legitimate law illegitimately.
    Wonder if that's a criminal offence?

    1. No. Anyone can use POFA. They don't need to be in an AOS. POFA has nothing to say about AOS, appeals, independent appeals in fact anything much except that in certain limited circumstances the registered keeper of a vehicle may be pursued for a parking charge incurred by the driver.

  3. You have to wonder why Mr Hart of Bidwells or the directors of Ransomes Europark are so keen to get into bed with Mr Duff & piss off their tenants & their customers. The only plausible explanation is that some sort of financial incentive is involved.

  4. Duff & Hart sound like evil characters in a pantomime that give the audience a chance to boo and hiss every time they appear. Surely Mr Hart can be sued for alleging someone had been arrested for murder. You can't go round doing that sort of thing.