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I took on the car clampers and won; EXCLUSIVE Car towed away as dad watched Blues match.

Byline: By Neil Elkes

DRIVER Robert Hayden has struck a blow for motorists after taking on the car clampers and winning.

The 42-year-old Blues fan has won pounds 465 damages in court after his Vauxhall Vectra was illegally towed away while he watched a match at St Andrew's.

In a hearing at Birmingham County Court, Deputy District Judge Rosalyn Kilbane ordered the clamping company Midway Parks, of Coventry Road, to repay the pounds 365 fine, his pounds 50 legal costs and compensate him pounds 50 for loss of earnings.

But despite winning the court order, Mr Hayden, of Maytree Croft, Chelmsley Wood, has had no reply to his request for payment.

He is now considering stepping up his action by sending in the bailiffs.

His run-in with Midway started when he parked outside a compound on Bordesley Green Road to take his 12-year-old daughter Kim to the Blues-Torquay game in January.

When they returned the car was gone. After reporting it to the police he discovered that it had been towed away - along with several other parked cars.

He said: "I called and demanded the car back. There was no warning sign up.

"They wanted pounds 365 cash only and told me not to bother coming until 10.30am the next day - so they could add on the overnight holding fee. "I was forced to take a morning off work to get the cash and collect the car."

Mr Hayden complained to the police and the Trading Standards office but said: "They just weren't interested. So I had to take this action myself."

Armed with photos of the area he took Midway to court and the judge agreed that while there were warning signs clearly displayed within the walled compound, there was nothing to indicate clamping in operation on the ground outside where he had parked.

Although the Midway did not attend the County Court hearing they claimed in a written submission that there was a sign up but it had been pulled down by vandals.

The defence cut no ice with the judge.

Having proved his car was illegally towed away and kept overnight he now wants the police to prosecute the clampers for taking without consent.

Midway Parks is not listed with Companies House. The Birmingham Mail contacted Midway Parks and spoke to a man who claimed to be the owner. He refused to comment on the case or give his name.

TELL us you car clamper stories. Write to Birmingham Mail, PO BOX 78, Weaman Street, Birmingham, B4 6AY or email neil_elkes@mrn.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

VICTORY... Robert Hayden beat the clampers. Picture: Loretta Brennan' SITE... where Robert Hayden's car was parked.' SITE OF THE CLAMPING... where Robert Hayden parked and, right, the sign the clamping firm has since put up. Pictures: Loretta Brennan' RULING... a copy of the court document, finding in favour of Robert Hayden.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 31, 2006
Words:482
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