When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Blackburn man victim of car cloning
A MAN discovered his car registration had been ‘cloned’ after receiving parking fines in towns he didn’t visit.
Police have confirmed the car ticketed for two separate parking offences doesn’t belong to Blackburn man Anthony Murray.
But the 43-year-old, of Moorgate Street, received a £70 ticket from Lancashire County Council for a car illegally parked in Hamilton Road, Preston.
Mr Murray said he was not in Preston at the time and believes a copy of his plates had been put on a similar vehicle.
He also received a £50 ticket from Wigan Council after a car with his licence plates was seen parked illegally in Library Street in the town.
The fine from Wigan Council showed pictures of the offending vehicle and, although the car was the same make and model as Mr Murray’s - a silver Vauxhall Vectra SRI - there were some subtle differences between the two cars.
The car in the picture had different coloured door handles, differently shaped rear windows, and evidence of wear-and-tear which wasn’t present on Mr Murray’s vehicle.
Mr Murray, who lives with his partner Lisa Taylor, 25, and his 12-year-old son Callum, said he doesn’t know when the plates were cloned, but that he bought his car through eBay from a garage in Bolton.
He said: “I’m all legal, but they’re using my insurance. If somebody got knocked down by that car it would be me that the police came looking for.”
Mr Murray has refused to pay either of the tickets which led to bailiffs visiting his house to seize his car in payment for the unpaid Preston parking ticket.
He has so far paid £377 to Lancashire County Council to have the car released.
Mr Murray, who is unemployed, said he was worried he would be forced to pay for future tickets, or risk losing his car.
He said: “Last week, they clamped my car in front of my house in front of all the neighbours.
“My son was so distressed, he was crying his eyes out. We’re in debt with it now. That was my rent money, we’ve lost £377.
”I don’t know what to do now. I want compensating for the inconvenience.
“It’s been going on since February and it’s been making me ill.”
A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said: “Police were contacted by Mr Murray in March to report that he had received a parking ticket for a vehicle he didn’t own.
“An officer met with Mr Murray and, from viewing the photographs, confirmed the ticketed vehicle was indeed not his.
“It is possible the offending vehicle was using cloned plates and therefore a marker was placed on the police national computer for the vehicle to be stopped if sighted.
“Advice was given to Mr Murray on how to appeal the parking charge and he was advised to contact Greater Manchester Police.”
A county council spokesperson said: "We have written to Mr Murray several times regarding payment of the parking penalty. However, he did not respond to those letters.
"He contacted us for the first time this week, but we had already passed the debt to the bailiff.
"If, as he alleges, the ticket was given to a car that was illegally using a cloned number plate, he will need to seek independent legal advice."
Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure at Wigan Council, said: “Once Mr Murray received the notice letter he called us to say that his car had been ‘cloned.’
“On numerous occasions we asked Mr Murray to provide us with the crime reference number, to this date the reference has not been supplied.
“There does appear to be some cosmetic differences between the photographs taken on previous cases and the most recent case. However this does not provide conclusive evidence that the vehicle has been cloned. Should proof of a valid crime reference be provided, then Wigan Council will be happy to cancel.”
As spokeswoman later confirmed that Wigan Council had spoken to Mr Murray yesterday and told him the ticket had been cancelled and the bailiff action stopped.
Comments are closed on this article.