The case was obviously hugely important to ParkingEye, who would have had to change their toxic business practices if they lost.
However, since then worrying evidence has emerged to suggest that ParkingEye may have withheld crucial evidence from HHJ Moloney by incorrectly redacting the landowner contract. The Prankster was not part of the defence team for the Cambridge case and so does not know what evidence was provided. However, he has since helped with other defendants at Riverside Retail Park, and has seen the redacted contracts provided in these cases. There would be no obvious reasons to redact different clauses in the HHJ Moloney cases and subsequent cases.
Here is clause 3.11 from one of these subsequent cases
And here is clause 8:
Now let us compare these with an unredacted contract (for a different site), provided by one of ParkingEye's customers from a freedom of information request.
Here is 3.11
And here is 8
As we can see, the redacted clauses are certainly relevant to the case, and therefore should not have been redacted. Although it is possible that the Riverside Retail Park contract had different clauses 3.11 and 8, The Prankster has seen a fair number of unredacted contracts, and in all of them clauses 3.11 and 8 have been substantially the same. Therefore, on the balance or probabilities (which is all that is needed for a small claims case), clauses 3.11 and 8 are likely to be the same.
HHJ Moloney found that ParkingEye were the principal, and part of his reasoning is as follows (Prankster's highlights).
The landowner is not paying Parking Eye to carry out work for it or discharge functions on its behalf. Rather, Parking Eye is paying the landowner for the valuable privilege of being able to run a car park for Parking Eyes own profit, and specifically for being allowed to levy charges on over-stayers. Moreover, as the Claimant points out, the payments to the landlord are at a flat rate; the landlord does not take any percentage or other direct share in the sums received by Parking Eye and is not even entitled to an account of them
Clause 3.11 shows that the landlord does pay ParkingEye. ParkingEye gather the parking charges as an agent of the landowner, but then retain them as consideration for services. This gives rise to a further VAT liability, and the landowner pays a further VAT only invoice. This VAT invoice also serves as an account of sums received by ParkingEye, as it is a constant proportion (20%) of them.
Clause 8 reveals the existence of a web interface. This interface is usable by the landowner to see an account of charges issued and paid. This is therefore a further account of sums received by ParkingEye.
It is clear then, that depending on the contents of the redacted clauses, HHJ Moloney may have been factually misled by ParkingEye.
This leads to the following unanswered questions.
1. Why were the clauses redacted in the first place, since they are central to the case?
2. Was this a deliberate or accidental redaction?
3. Who did the redacting, and who approved it?
4. If this was accidental, then if the clauses are similar to the above, why have ParkingEye subsequently tried to mislead the court many times by submitting the judgment as evidence when they know the judgment is formed on incorrect facts?
The Prankster strongly believes that ParkingEye should clear up this issue by providing the contents of the redacted clauses.
The Prankster also notes that given ParkingEye's history over the past 2 years of repeatedly deceiving the court, then it is reasonable to believe unless ParkingEye prove otherwise, that they are continuing to deliberately deceive the court in continuing cases.
The Prankster also notes that ParkingEye have a history of incorrectly redacting contracts provided to the court, and particularly clauses 3.11 and 8. In several cases they have redacted the amount of the Parking charge agreed with the landowner, disguising the fact that the actual charge was larger and therefore there was no evidence it was ever authorised. In several other cases ParkingEye redacted clauses 3.11 and 8, but The Prankster had access to unredacted copies from other sources showing that the hidden contents were substantially as reported in this blog.
The Parking Prankster