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Judge's 'sympathy' for Carlisle man who cut wheel clamp from van

A Carlisle man was so enraged to find his van had been clamped that he freed the vehicle himself – with a power saw.

Kenneth Peacock, 50, pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal damage when he appeared before Carlisle Magistrates’ Court.

The scrap dealer had been on his way to see a sick friend at the Cumberland Infirmary last month when he realised the hospital car park was full.

So Peacock, of Whernside, Morton, put his Transit van on a private space in the nearby Kingston Court care home.

Then he went over to the infirmary, only to find that visiting hours had not yet started.

When he got back he found that staff from Parking Control Services UK Ltd had pounced in his absence.

They had left him a £90 ticket and clamped the van’s wheel.

Furious, Peacock got out his power saw.

When the Parking Control Services staff came back all they found was a clamp with a broken lock.

Police traced Peacock and he owned up.

He told the court that he knew he shouldn’t have cut the lock in half.

His defence was anger, and the fact that he thought the warning signs in the car park were too small.

District Judge Gerald Chalk let him off with a 12-month conditional discharge. He was also ordered to pay £175 compensation to Parking Control Services for the clamp and £85 court costs.

Judge Chalk waived the £90 ticket the company was still trying to claim.

He told Peacock: “I do not condone in any way what you have done, you can’t go around damaging other people’s property.

“But you were fed up as you were trying to visit a friend in hospital, then to find your car had been clamped in that way was a source of frustration.

“As I say, I don’t condone what you did but I am giving you some sympathy.”

Have your say

I always thought that they had to give you some time before they actually pounced and clamped.

Posted by Brian on 13 August 2010 at 12:10

My sympathies to Mr. Peacock. Many motorists in Ireland have taken to carrying bolt cutters and 12volt con-saws for this very purpose. Clamping has become a scourge on this "island of taints and horrors."
One many who cut off a clamp, later dutifully rewelded it (noticing all the other cuts and welds) returning it to the clamping organisation under cover of darkness. He then invoiced the clampers for his time and inconvenience. The case got thrown out...!

Posted by paul jennings on 8 August 2010 at 21:40

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