Motor Industry News
A minibus driver was slapped with almost £2,000 of congestion charges and parking tickets after fraudsters cloned his vehicle.
Barry Ellis, of Darnhall School Lane, Winsford, Cheshire bought a Range Rover from reputable firm LRC in Congleton in October 2006, and could not believe it when just weeks later payment demands from Transport for London started to arrive.
The 45-year-old said: "I sent a letter back saying it wasn't me but they didn't believe me."
"I hadn't even been to London. I had no reason to go to London - I drive a bus for a living, if I was going to go I would go in my bus."
During a two-year period Barry was sent five £150 congestion charge fines as well as various parking tickets accrued in the capital, which continued to snowball as he refused to pay up.
"It was just getting worse and worse and then they started to threaten me with bailiffs," he said. "It had built up to quite a lot of money, nearly a couple of thousand, because each time I didn't pay they doubled it."
After Barry continually refused to pay Transport For London sent bailiffs round to his home to try to take the car. He added: "It was getting very worrying towards the end especially when they sent the bailiffs out to the house."
"I was determined not to get rid of the car or pay though."
"I've had parking fines before and when it's my fault I will pay for it, but I wasn't paying when I hadn't done anything wrong."
Barry sought the help of PCSO Matthew Hood, from Winsford NPU, who managed to cancel around 10 tickets, but the threats did not stop.
Barry added: "It didn't appear that it would ever end. I was in a no-win situation."
Finally Barry contacted a London newspaper who ran a story on his plight earlier this month. Transport For London have now apologised to Barry and dropped all charges.
PCSO Hood, who was instrumental in Barry's battle against the authorities, said: "It's been an on-going job for myself and Mr Ellis for the past two years and finally it feels like it's been put to bed."
Thanks to Winsford Guardian