In a clever move by the defence, most of the evidence was ruled as inadmissable meaning the meat of the case could not be heard, and inevitably therefore none of the charges were proved.
In a nutshell, the Sheriff accepted Counsel submissions for no case to answer on the following points:
- No evidence led on locus of each offence
- No evidence led on the content of the PCNs
- In relation to charge of persistent and unwanted solicitations by letter, 3 letters was held to be not persistent. A 4th letter was ruled inadmissible as there was noone from Rossendales to answer for it
As the fraud charge was an all-encompassing charge, because each charge under the Regulations fell, it too fell
After the case, Trading Standards said:
‘We are very disappointed with the outcome of the case.
Trading Standards received a large volume of complaints about private car parks. Many consumers were unaware they had parked on ground which had parking restrictions and several were then given false information as to their legal liability to pay the parking charge. We worked closely with the Procurator Fiscal to secure a conviction and it is disappointing for the case to fail on a technicality.’
The Civil Enforcement Limited bosses blamed everything on their incompetent employees not following the right procedures and sending out the wrong letters.
If you are a CEL employee and know differently, please contact the prankster at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Praking Prankster