In the Media

Rogue car clamper given suspended jail sentence

PUBLISHED February 1, 2012

Marcus Foley made thousands of pounds clamping cars after stealing drivers' pay-and-display tickets in Birmingham

A rogue car clamper who made thousands of pounds towing away vehicles after stealing drivers' pay-and-display tickets has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Marcus Foley's victims had to pay up to ?300 to have their vehicles freed. One woman was ordered to pay after the soft top of her Suzuki Vitara was ripped open so the ticket could be removed from the windscreen.

Foley, 20, from Birmingham, who made up to ?100 for each car clamped, was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for two years.

The judge, Robert Orme, told Foley: "What you did would simply involve wrongly charging motorists by either removing their tickets or pretending they were not valid, before putting pressure on them to pay up to have the clamping removed. The manner in which this occurred involved threats and a menacing attitude. You were also rude, aggressive and arrogant."

Timothy Hannam, prosecuting, told Coventry crown court at an earlier hearing that Foley bullied dozens of motorists.

He said: "The defendant was rude and aggressive and would defraud and extort money from motorists. Sometimes tickets were dislodged and moved in a CCTV black-spot in the compound.

"He would demand more than ?300 to release the vehicles and this was often done menacingly, the threat being that the fee would be paid or the vehicle would not be seen again."

Foley threatened Doreen Baker, who is in her 70s, and her elderly sister after she bought a ?2 ticket to park all day at a car park in Birmingham. When she returned to her car, Foley demanded ?175 to release the vehicle, claiming her ticket was not visible. Hannam told the court: "Mrs Baker began crying and shaking as the defendant threatened to have the car towed away."

At the time of the offences, Foley was working for Car Clamping Securities (CCS). In February last year the CCS boss, Steven Ryan, was jailed for 30 months after being convicted of conspiracy to defraud motorists.

As well as the suspended sentence, Foley was ordered to complete a 12-month supervision order, wear an electronic tag for three months and be under a curfew between 9pm and 6am during that time. He was also ordered to undergo an intervention programme to understand his victims' anger, and to pay ?1,000 compensation to them. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds