Sunday, 29 October 2017

Gladstones client PCM UK hit with £1500 unreasonable costs order

PCM UK v 'Sassii'

This case has been reported on MoneySavingExpert.

The defendant was being pursued for three parking charges totalling £300, plus fictitious charges of £180 added by Gladstones department of random numbers, £22.39 interest and legal costs of £130, totalling £632.39. Gladstones finest, Jamie Ashford made a bit of a dogs breakfast with the claim form, scribbling additions here and there.

Gladstones failed to pay the hearing fee or send in any evidence meaning that the claim was struck out.

A hearing was then held to determine costs.  Coupon-mad and Loadsofchildren123 assisted with the case and with producing a comprehensive costs schedule, charging at the litigant in person rate of £19/hour. This impressed the judge who said they had ''never seen a professional one like that before''

Originally the judge was intending to order only the amount of the claim form but the defendant explained to him that PCM / Gladstones never supported their claim with any shred of evidence and that they personally spent 3 months going around,  printing and managing thousands of pages of paper and exposing their personal details to Gladstones. The defendant ended stating they thought it is a type of fraud designed to waste a defendant's time if they didn't pay the alleged PCN.

In total, the defendant asked for £2607.

The judge said: ''It's unreasonable behaviour from a commercial company against an individual but I can't allow all the amount the defendant asked for and I order £1500 against the defendant's costs''.

The amount is payable within 14 days - by Monday 30th October 2017.

Prankster Note

The Prankster notes that any potential customers of solicitor Jamie Ashford, SRA Id 435535 should bear in mind that due to his lack of respect of the civil procedure rules they are potentially exposing themselves to unreasonable costs orders. These can of course be significant, as the above shows.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Gladstones lose on behalf of District Enforcement "chancers"

District Enforcement v X Ltd. D6GF60H3 at Nuneaton County Court on the 23/10/2017. DDJ Wyatt

District Enforcement issued a parking charge by post to a company whose vehicle they claimed was not parked correctly. No windscreen ticket was issued. The first indication was a letter claiming £100 which arrived 13 days after the event, an incident in Coventry in January 2017.

The address recorded was not accurate so the company prudently decided to contact DE to ask for photographic evidence to make sure it was actually their vehicle. They wrote to the PO Box number supplied, but never got a reply.

7-8 weeks of further demand letters followed, but no photographic evidence was ever supplied. The only telephone numbers for DE and Gladstones Solicitors which worked were 'pay by card' ones. Naturally the company declined to pay.

The first time a photograph of the car was produced was in the court bundle, received two weeks before the court appearance date. This is a clever Gladstones trick and the purpose is to give defendants as little time as possible to discover the flaws in Gladstones case. Of course, this is completely against the ethos of the civil procedure rules, which require both parties to disclose their case and try and work to a solution before a claim is even filed. Understandably behaving in an ethical manner like this would completely destroy Gladstones business model, so is never likely to happen.

Gladstones "witness statement" was of course no such thing, but was a thinly disguised statement of case. Claimants are meant to file the statement of case at the time of beginning a claim. However, this is not possible as Gladstones do no due diligence and therefore know almost nothing about the claims they file; certainly they have no idea of the possible merits or not of the case.

The documentation ran to 14 pages, which at first look were really daunting; the purpose of this document is to browbeat and bully the victim into submission. However, like the majority of the shoddy work undertaken by Gladstones, the closer the documents are examined, the more laughable they become. For instance, the contract to manage the land was not in place at the time of the incident,and the photographs were of a different place to the site plan.


The hearing was the usual Gladstone shambles. The defendants sent a representative from their company. Gladstones sent Miss Jackson. In court, she admitted that they could not find a current contract and so just bunged in one which started in August 2017. She also tried to argue that an aerial photograph from above, was a site plan, even though it didn’t actually show the place where they were claiming the vehicle was parked and the building in the background was so obviously different. This just had the effect of making her look incompetent.

She tried to argue that they didn’t need apply a ticket to the vehicle, because their signage states that ANPR cameras are in use. This fell flat when the judge commented on the only photograph of the vehicle “But this was  obviously taken by someone standing in front of the car on the ground, and there is no ticket on the windscreen"

The local rumour is that a local resident is bunged £50 for every photograph he takes.

In his summary, the Judge tore into their representative. “Why did you bring this company to court when you knew your evidence which you had presented was incorrect and the contract out of  time?”.

Miss Jackson was forced to defend her actions by claiming she had not put together the Court papers, and somebody else had done it.

The claim was dismissed and costs were awarded against District Enforcement, to be paid within 2 weeks.

Prankster Notes

Some interesting comments from the company in question are worth repeating.

Most members of the public will do anything to avoid standing up in front of a Judge, but this experience has shown us that DE are real “chancers” and we shouldn’t let them get away with it, but do all we can to bring them to book.

They had no reservations about making us stand up in court, and lose time from our work, but they were very ready to try and add on a load of costs if it had been found in their favour.

Do not be bullied or intimidated by them. They aren’t that clever.

Thank you Parking Prankster.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Gladstones Solicitors lose in Grimbsy

UKCPM v Ms P. Grimbsy 27/10/2017.

Ms P asked the BMPA for assistance with a court claim.

The background was that on 16th November, 2016 she stopped for a few minutes on Pelham Road, Grimsby to collect some drugs for work; monthly one of the staff goes to Lloyds Pharmacy on the corner of Dudley Street/Pelham Road to collect the medication. As the box is often large she stops on Pelham Road for as long as it takes to walk into the shop, sign for the medication and put it in her car.

This looks like a public road but apparently is private and part of it is owned by Pelham Accountants who boosts their income by self-ticketing using UKCPM. They don't put up decent signage in order to maximise their income. Ms P fell victim to this scheme and was issued a ticket.

Ms P did not agree this was a fair system and so contested the charge. UKCPM used the discredited and incompetent Gladstones Solicitors to process the claim, which eventually made it to a hearing this week.

The Hearing - Motorist's report.

Am so excited and proud of myself! Had my hearing at Grimsby today.

I did not have a clue about Court procedures and Gladstones' representative (a solicitor) came up to me in the waiting room trying to show me some older photos of the road in question.  I said why are you  speaking to me - you're the opposition and I don't really want to have this conversation!  I did not take his photos.  He was oh so patronising, telling me how the Court hearing would go and that I should address the Judge as "sir" and basically talking down to me.

The judge was absolutely lovely and I felt he was on my side from the start. The solicitor spouted on about Beavis (which the judge said was not relevant) and showed a photo from two years ago stating the road was private. That was also ruled as not relevant. The solicitor even tried to make a point of the fact that I was parked half on and half off the pathway which the judge made nothing of.

The ticket was given when I parked on a road adjacent to a big car park.  The railings of the car park had signs on and the solicitor tried to allude that the signs also applied to the road.  There were no signs to say it was a private road and the solicitor had no proof just some badly copied Google maps and a piece of paper purporting to be an agreement with the landowner.  The Judge said their signs did not create a contract and also that there was no signage to say that it was a private road.

I told the judge I had never been in court before but I was familiar with the area in question and if I had known it was private I would not have parked there. I told him I could not spout legal arguments. The judge went on at length about the signage being the contract. In his eyes the signs did not create contracts.

He finished by saying in the balance of probabilities it was totally unclear as to what the signs meant and whether UKCPM had control of the road.

So he dismissed the case and we got up to go and I remembered about costs. The solicitor looked even more annoyed and I was awarded £90.00!  I got the distinct feeling he'd encountered Gladstones before!

As we left the Court building I smiled at the solicitor and said "well that went well didn't it"  He didn't reply.....

Prankster Notes

Jamie Ashford and Helen Cook run Gladstones' parking department. Based on their track history they must be two of the most incompetent individuals ever to have their papers regularly fill the courtroom wastepaper basket.

The Prankster would say their credibility has taken a great hit being seen off by yet another courtroom novice, but they never had any to start with.

The Prankster notes that their boss John Davies appears to be of the same opinion as he has recently revamped the Gladstones' website to remove all details of his staff and of what his firm does. Now, the only way to get past the homepage is to login with an account.

Sadly, the perverse reality is that despite their incompetence regarding parking related law, Gladstones' owners also run the IPC, a trade body whose members are allowed access to the DVLA keeper database.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Funding Appeal to get Civil Restraint Order against Private Parking Solutions London Ltd

A funding appeal has been launched to raise money to to get Civil Restraint Order against Private Parking Solutions London Ltd

A link to the appeal is here.

The background to the appeal is that PPS have so far lost 18 out of 18 court hearings regarding parking claims in Ashford town centre car park, yet continue to bring new claims. They were turfed out in June 2017 by the new Leaseholder, Greene King brewery, for their aggressive ticketing, but continue to bring claims for historic tickets.

The way to stop this appalling behaviour is to get a Civil Restraint Order to stop them bringing new claims regarding this car park. Please consider donating to the appeal in order to stop this unscrupulous company continue its bullying ways.

Prankster Notes

As well as PPS, Gladstones Solicitors are hardly blameless in this matter.

Gladstones Solicitors take on and file court claims without doing any due diligence or any credible investigation as to whether the claim is valid or not. The 18 lost claims by PPS clearly demonstrate this. Their owners line their pockets through bullying and intimidating tactics, making their money not through assisting valid claims, but because they know that many people are scared of court and will therefore pay up to make the claim go away, regardless of validity. The Prankster therefore considers that both Will Hurley and John Davies are morally bankrupt individuals and wonders how they sleep at night, knowing that their actions could have serious financial effects on totally blameless victims.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Private Parking Solutions London Ltd lose 18th consecutive case

25/10/2017 D7GF4H98, Staines. Private Parking Solutions London Ltd -v- Mrs A, before District Judge McCulloch

Guest report from Bargepole

Claimant represented by: Mr Shippard

Defendant represented by me as Lay Rep (a guest appearance on behalf of the Ashford Parking Group, who have been campaigning long and hard about this site).

This was another case from the notorious Ashford town centre car park, which is split into two sections with two different PPCs, and no clear demarcation as to which bit is which. PPS have now been turfed out (as of June 2017) by the new Leaseholder, Greene King brewery, for their aggressive ticketing, but have a back catalogue of unpaid tickets from when they were still operating. Before today, they had brought 15 cases to court in either Staines or Guildford, and all 15 had been dismissed.

There were a number of defence points, but the main ones that the Judge quickly identified, were that a) the defendant had purchased a P&D ticket, which was evidenced in her bundle; and b) there was a letter from Greene King confirming that PPS were not authorised to pursue charges.

Mr Shippard tried to get the Judge to look at a Land Registry plan which was on his laptop, but as the Defendant hadn’t been served with it, and it wasn’t in the Claimant’s bundle, she was having none of it.

It was accepted that Mrs A had purchased a valid ticket, which may have blown over when placed on the dashboard. But none of that mattered, because the Claimant had, yet again, failed to demonstrate that they had any authority to act in that car park at the material time. Claim dismissed, and £98.60 costs awarded to Defendant. We asked for further costs for unreasonable behaviour, but no dice.

An application is now being prepared for an Extended Civil Restraint Order, to be submitted to the Circuit Judge, prohibiting PPS from issuing further claims relating to that location. This will include a list of the 16 claims that have previously been dismissed, and will argue that they should not be wasting the court's time with claims which clearly had no merit.

Channel 5 TV came along, filming the Defendant and members of Ashford Parking outside the court before and afterwards, for a four-part documentary they are making about parking (council and private).

On the way to the pub afterwards, a message was received from another PPS victim whose case was being heard at the same time in Guildford. This one was dismissed almost before he sat down, as the Judge spotted that the Claimant’s photos were of a completely different vehicle. He had flown in from Spain for the hearing, and was awarded his full costs of £280.

There was another case involving PPS at the same court, before the same Judge, at 2pm, with a different lay rep.

Unsurprisingly, that was dismissed as well.

Prankster Notes

There does seem something wrong with the system when a company brings 18 cases to court and lose them all.

A large share of the blame must lie with the company that brings these claims to court, Gladstones Solicitors and their owners John Davies and William Hurley. These two individuals claim to understand parking related law. It is is clear from this debacle they do not. Equally worrying is that the same two people are allowed to own and run the International Parking Community**, a trade body whose members are allowed access the the DVLA keeper database.

The Prankster believes there should be a mechanism to remove access from the DVLA database from companies and associations who abuse the privilege like this.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

** The International Parking Community have nothing in common with the Independent Parking Committee (apart from sharing the same initials), who are a different organisation. Any claims from a parking company that they belong to the Independent Parking Committee are likely to be fraudulent and should be reported to Trading Standards.