In court today it emerged that Phil Hilsden is a previous convicted sex offender, has served 8 months in custody, and his previous convictions include sexual offences in youth court, credit card fraud and a more recent sexual offence.
Today was a sentencing hearing, Phil Hilsden having already pleaded guilty to a number of offences including stalking. The offences stem from a number of parking appeals companies Phil Hilsden has been the controlling mind behind, such as Parking Ticket Appeals Ltd, Parking Ticket Appeals Service Limited and Appeal Parking Tickets Ltd, currently hosted at https://www.appealparkingticket.co.uk/
Although the sites did legitimately help a number of motorists, it appeared the long term strategy was to promise to pay the parking fee if the appeals failed, and then never to do this. When the complaints escalated to unacceptable levels the company would phoenix and reemerge. A series of straw men and women were used as directors.
Here is a typical claim on the website:
Our Parking Appeal Service will cost you only £16 and we guarantee you won’t have to pay a penny to the parking company. If you receive a court claim we pay the ticket cost in full.
The appeals company is also believed to run a series of non-genuine service addresses. Although there are legitimate reasons to use a service address to appeal a parking ticket, it must be a real service address; it cannot be a means to evade the charge. A legitimate service address would inform the addressee of received mail and forward it to them. The service addresses Phil Hilsden used were apparently black holes which swallowed the mail.
One of the creditors of Parking Ticket Appeals Ltd started to pursue Phil Hilsden for alleged debts in the region of £35,000. It was at this point that Phil Hilsden started a concerted campaign of stalking and harassment against the creditor. The court were fully satisfied that the object of the campaign was to avoid payment of the monies owed.
In the Victim Impact Statement read out in court it emerged that the campaign had caused the victim extreme mental stress.
The stalking behaviour first came to light on New Years Day 2015 with online posts and within a few days of this, the conduct escalated to blogs. Contact was also made with the victim's employer, colleagues, housing association and the local police. The online attacks and harassment continued to such an extent that the victim was forced to move house, causing them to leave their job, their home and their family and move over 100 miles away. The victim was under extreme stress for an extended period, affecting the relationship with their girlfriend and causing a loss of 3 stone in weight.
The scariest moment was when someone knocked on the door of their old flat, literally days before the victim was due to hand in the keys, and posted details about the flat, the car and many other things online within an hour. At this point the victim feared for their safety, left the flat and did not return to the flat again. The idea that someone has now come looking for the victim caused serious alarm and distress, and he was genuinely in fear that if he remained in the flat even a day longer, he would suffer violence or worse.
Given the details published online it was obvious that there has been a very deep background check done, which was very alarming. Following this move, the harassment continued. Several other individuals were contacted about the victim, including a business associate, and threats were made against them for their association with the victim.
The police investigation took some time, during which Phil Hilsden was arrested and bailed.
Despite bail conditions, the victim continued to receive harassing contact from people involved in this.
Charges were eventually brought against Phil Hilsden to which he pleaded guilty in an earlier hearing.
In today's hearing the judges debated for an extended period before delivering their judgment. The sentence was 4 months in Custody, suspended for 24 months, together with 250 hours unpaid work, 20 days of offending behaviour courses, curfew from 9pm to 6am for two months, and a restraining order that he may not seek to contact the victim directly or indirectly, or publish anything about them by any means whatsoever, save that he may contact them in respect of civil proceedings via the court staff, a solicitor or as is necessary in a court building. He has to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
Following the court case civil claims can now commence against Phil Hilsden, which will possibly include the previous £35,000, but also may include amounts for harassment and distress which The Prankster estimates may add another £50,000.
It was also reported a scuffle broke out after the hearing and Phil Hilsden allegedly assaulted and punched a person serving him with legal papers. This was witnessed by Phil Hilsden's solicitor.
The Parking Prankster