Nine-hour stand-off as Hornchurch driver refuses to allow council to take car in row over fine
A Hornchurch woman who claims she was wrongly accused of driving through a red light, cut off a wheel clamp and refused to leave her car for nine hours when bailiffs threatened to take it away.
The bailiffs visited Kirsty Tierney-Jones home on Thursday on behalf of Barking and Dagenham Council and demanded she pay �680 or they would remove her vehicle.
The authority claims Mrs Tierney-Jones, of Wallis Close, drove through the light in Chequers Lane, Dagenham, three years ago and still owes the authority a fine.
But the 31-year-old says she was at Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, at the time of the offence and sent a doctor’s letter to prove it.
Her car, she explains, was parked in the car park.
You may also want to watch:
The council says Mrs Tierney-Jones’ appeal was rejected because although the doctor’s letter proved she was at the hospital there was no evidence her car was there.
“After I sent that letter, which was over two years ago, I didn’t hear anything so I assumed the matter was closed,” she told the Recorder.
- 1 Illegal car meet in Rainham sees 49 fined for Covid breaches
- 2 Letters: Social distancing, vaccination experience and how to stop catalytic converter thefts
- 3 Infection rates are now falling in Havering - is lockdown working?
- 4 70% of Havering residents voted to leave the EU
- 5 Havering parks and gardens five feet under water as rivers burst their banks
- 6 'It was surreal': Hornchurch personal trainer wins £10k with family on TV gameshow
- 7 Fines issued to Romford and Upminster restaurants flouting coronavirus restrictions
- 8 Brentwood Tudor church damaged in illegal New Year's Eve party raises nearly £20,000 for repairs
- 9 Heritage: Measuring speed of sound at Upminster
- 10 Sonic boom heard across east London, Essex and Cambridge
“But then at 7.45am on Thursday these bailiffs turned up and said I have to pay �680 or they’ll take my car. They said that I’d received warning letters which I hadn’t. I told them this, but they continued to demand the money and put a clamp on the car. I couldn’t believe it.”
Determined not to let them take the vehicle Mrs Tierney-Jones cut off the clamp with a pair of angle grinders, sat in the front seat and refused to move.
“I called police and so did they,” she said. “Some officers turned up and said I could be arrested for criminal damage, though in the end they left and told the bailiffs to leave too.
“I stayed in the car until I was sure they weren’t coming back. I wasn’t going to let them punish me for something I didn’t do.”
A council spokesman responded saying: “Photographic evidence proves that it was her car in Chequers Lane.
“A debt registration letter was sent in April and in June a warrant was issued by the bailiffs and sent to her address.”
But Mrs Tierney-Jones believes she has been the victim of number plate cloning.
She has been told that the bailiffs will return and she must now pay �1,093.