Millennium v 'JackBasta' Port Talbot C2GF3V4A 31/05/2017. DJ Bennett.
This thread on MSE contains the full story.
Millennium were resurrecting an old parking charge dating back to the summer of 2012.
The motorist represented themselves. Millennium were represented by their employee, India Beavan. The claim was filed by those well-known incompetents, Gladstones Solicitors, with the factually challenged Helen Cook signing the claim.
India is a former bartender from Li'l London, has a law degree from Swansea and is now Head of Appeals & Litigation at the Millennium Group
The motorist was fully prepared to challenge right of audience. However, as Ms. Beavan is an employee this does not apply. They didn't need to worry too much - District Judge Bennett tore her a new one anyway.
The Judge started off by listing out all the documents in the bundles, and asked if there was anything missing. The motorist told her there should be two emails complaining about the Claimant's Witness Statement being a month late.
The Judge asked Ms Beavan why their Witness Statement was a month late without asking the court for permission.
The motorist complained that the Claimant having a month to view their Witness Statement before submitting their own Witness Statement put them at a disadvantage. The judge didn't agree as there was nothing in their Witness Statement that wasn't "standard", and it was still received a month ago, so she would allow it.
The Judge then went on to the landowner contract and asked why that contract was dated 2015, 3 years after the event.
"We do have a proper one".
"Why didn't you use it then?"
At which point the motorist raised the fact that all the pictures of the signs were a number of years out too. The Judge asked Ms Beavan why.
Then the Judge moved onto the crux of the defence - they were going after the motorist as the registered keeper, had no proof who was driving, and the incident was pre-POFA.
Ms Beavan stated they were going after the motorist as the driver. The Judge asked for proof of the driver. Ms Beavan said "We don't have any".
At which point the Judge said "You've pretty much fallen on your own sword here. I'm dismissing the claim."
The motorist asked for costs at which point the judge produced the costs schedule put in with the defence.
The Judge explained that costs would only be allowed if the claim was seen to be unreasonable and for the reasons detailed above, this was judged to be an unreasonable claim.
Total awarded to the motorist; £197.34.
Millennium - you've been Gladstoned.
In the Prankster's opinion, Helen Cook should examine her competence in advising her client to take out a claim which was so hopeless the judge gave costs for unreasonableness. Perhaps her bosses Will Hurley and John Davies will schedule her for disciplinary action. Solicitors after all have a duty of care to their clients.
It is strange Ms Beavan did not know why her own witness statement was filed late. After all, it is pretty much a template regurgitated every case, and she is after all Head of Litigation. If they did have a contract in force at the time of the event, it does seem strange that they did not file it as evidence.
Millennium were confused as to the amount owed. The signage says £100. The parking charge notice was for £150. The zatpark amount was £75. The court claim was for £125 plus other charges.
Additionally, the Parking Charge Notice had the IPC logo at the bottom even though the IPC did not exist at the time and Millennium were members of the BPA at the time, and therefore was clearly a fake.
There were 2 other cases at Port Talbot today. The Prankster has no idea how Ms Beavan fared with those.
The Parking Prankster