C8DP29F7 Excel Parking v Mr S, Manchester Court 27/10/2016
Mr S represented himself. Excel Parking were represented in court by a lady from LPC Law, backed by a witness statement prepared by Sohail Ismail from BW Legal.
The case concerned a parking event at the Peel Centre, Stockport, where Mr S. was not the driver. Mr S had many times provided the drivers name and address to Excel parking, who had chosen to ignore this and to proceed on the basis that as Mr S was the keeper he was also the driver, quoting Elliott v Loake.
The Peel Centre is one of the worst run car parks in the country, and complaints about it form a large percentage of the Prankster's postbag.
On arrival Mr S booked in with the usher and within one second the LPC Law advocate was trying to hand him some documents and have a chat. Mr S refused them, said he did not wish to speak and that whatever needed to be said would be said in front of the judge.
When the hearing began the judge explained all the procedures and where to sit. She had obviously read Mr S's evidence pack and asked if he wanted to say anything before they started. Mr S's first question was why a firm of solicitors could fail to send him and the court the evidence pack on time.
The judge immediately asked the LPC lady, who stated it had been a minor administrative error. The judge said it was a serious breach of the court order.
She asked Mr S if he wished to adjourn to a future date so he could seek legal advice and have more time to read and prepare my defence. Mr S replied that he was happy to go ahead. The judge immediately thanked him and said to the LPC Lawyer. "Mr S has kindly agreed to proceed and he managed to get his evidence in prior to the 14 days limit. That is very gracious of him."
She then went through the BW Legal evidence pack and tore through paragraph by paragraph forcing the LPC Lawyer to conceded on every point. After 5 minutes the LPC Lawyer was so distressed she was actually welling up. She was pretending to write notes and tears were dropping onto her notepad.
The judge condemned the BW Legal evidence pack and spoke with absolute disdain for the poor quality of evidence prepared by Sohail Ismail.
She then asked the LPC lawyer if she had anything else to add. The advocate had composed herself a bit by them. Apparently Excel had changed their mind after all about Mr S being the driver, as she asked for the case to be adjourned in order to join the driver as defendant in the action.
The judge explained that in this case this was not applicable and the answer was no.
The judge spoke to Mr S again and said he should not speak from this point onwards. He had hardly said a word anyway. She grabbed a big book, read out a paragraph, said she found in Mr S's favour and added up his expenses at £95 wages and £6.40 train fare. She said she was really sorry she could not award more especially in this case.
The judge said it was clear from the paperwork that Mr S had informed Excel and its Debt Collectors of the correct name and address of the person driving the vehicle. Mr S was praised for his concise and clear evidence pack which as a lay person had managed to get it into the court on time unlike BW Legal.
She then told the LPC lawyer to inform her employer that as they only gave the information pack to the court 7 days in advance that instead of the usual 14 days to pay the £101.40 she was going to make it 7 days and that if this was not paid by the 3rd November would Mr S please return to the court and he would be helped to take further action with a bailiff.
The Prankster considers that if a company like BW Legal wish to file such a poorly constructed pack of lies as their witness statement, they deserve everything they get. If LPC Law are prepared to accept such hospital passes as cases then their advocates need to expect judges to rip them a new one on a regular basis. The Prankster and Mr S have some sympathy for the LPC Law lady. The Prankster suggests she refuse to accept cases from BW Legal in future, as they obviously rival Gladstones in their level of incompetence.
Parking companies need to stick to the truth when filing claims and not invent facts to back up dodgy cases, bullying motorists into paying up by escalating costs without merit.
The witness statement claimed that Mr S had only provided the drive name and not their address, but did not back this up with any actual letters. Mr S, on the other hand, did include the letters in his evidence pack, making the advocate look stupid.
BW Legal were awarded the “Legal Team of the Year” at the CICM British Credit Awards 2016, but this presumed competence was not much in evidence today.
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The Parking Prankster