The Prankster has received this court report.
PCM (UK) v Day, Brentford County Court, B7GF2707, before District Judge Nicholls.
Claimant represented by Mr Pacanowski (a solicitor’s agent) and Georgina Philpott (PCM UK employee).
Defendant was represented by Bargepole, with assistance from another BMPA representative.
We assembled in the waiting area, and the Usher called both parties together to say he had a message from the Judge. He would like to know if we wanted the case heard today, or to request a stay pending the Supreme Court ruling.
The Claimant’s rep said they wanted to go ahead; Bargepole consulted with Mr Day, and they agreed there was nothing to lose by requesting a stay, as the case was distinguishable from Beavis anyway (visitors permit in block of flats).
At the hearing DJ Nicholls said he was minded to stay the case in any event, because the penalties issue in Beavis was of widespread public importance. If he made a ruling for the Claimant today, and then Beavis won, the Defendant would be able to submit an out of time appeal application, and a new hearing, which would take up more court time.
He said that his decision was heavily influenced by the fact that the Court of Appeal had themselves given Mr Beavis permission to appeal to the SC, rather than Beavis having to apply direct to the SC, which he felt meant that Beavis had a very strong case.
He asked if Mr P wanted to make any submissions, and he referred the Judge to CPR 52.7 “an appeal shall not operate as a stay of any order or decision of the lower court”. The Judge said that didn’t apply, because no decision or order in this case has yet been made.
Mr P then tried to say it was a contractual charge and couldn’t be a penalty, but the Judge shot him down in flames, saying that the Defence arguments clearly point to the “alleged debt” being a penalty.
So he made an Order staying the case until the Beavis decision is published, and within 7 days the Claimant must then inform the court if they wish to continue with the claim.
As PCM-UK will already be several hundred pounds out of pocket, whatever the final result of the case, they will no doubt be extremely pleased with whoever persuaded them to file this claim and carry on to court.
One again it looks like only Gladstones (and Mr P) have benefited from this case going to court.
PCM-UK are apparently on record on BBC Watchdog as stating they regularly lie during appeals, so they only have themselves to blame if it ends up that they have deluded themselves they have a valid claim.
The Parking Prankster