Driver fights for car return

A CLAMPED motorist is launching a year-long battle to get back his car at a fair price after the Government unveiled drastic curbs against rogue clamping firms. Builder Jack Cardy, 52, went to court on Monday to stop Essex firm South East Clamping crush

A CLAMPED motorist is launching a year-long battle to get back his car at a fair price after the Government unveiled drastic curbs against "rogue" clamping firms.

Builder Jack Cardy, 52, went to court on Monday to stop Essex firm South East Clamping crushing his Renault Scenic towed away with �700 of power tools inside.

The Barking father-of-two hopes the Ilford County Court injunction will ultimately force the company to slash its extortionate �450 release fee to �70 to comply with new car-clamping legislation coming into force in 2011.

The firm, accused by motorists of putting up and taking down "temporary" clamping signs thereby trapping drivers, is refusing to comment.


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Mr Cardy, a self-employed builder now scraping by on benefits, is in a Catch-22 situation, being unable to pay the fee or raise cash as he cannot work without his tools.

He said: "This is a well-known company notorious for doing what they're doing.

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"I want to get my car back. This has caused my family a lot of stress."

Mr Cardy, of St Margaret's, Gascoigne Estate, claims he did not see any car clamping signs when he parked his Scenic on Railtrack land rented by a caf�, near Rainham Station in The Broadway on December 23.

In September, the POST reported how Jeevan Swaminathan paid South East Clamping Ltd �600 to get back his car towed away in his street in Tallow Close, Dagenham.

Mr Swaminathan said clamping signs appeared after his car was removed.

On Friday [January 29] Home Office minister Alan Campbell unveiled a Crime and Security Bill amendment that will force "unscrupulous" firms to pay back "excessive fees" or even award compensation to motorists "unfairly clamped" on private land.

Drivers will also be able to take their grievances to independent tribunals while firms will need to be licensed and could face fines or prosecutions.

Mr Campbell said: "The introduction of an independent appeals process will for the first time provide independent recourse for motorists who feel aggrieved by unfair practices of rogue clamping businesses."

South East Clamping was not present for the Ilford County Court hearing on Monday and the case has been adjourned to Thursday.

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