COWBOY CLAMPERS JAILED They made £500k from drivers
FIVE car clampers who “milked” £500,000 out of the public have been jailed for a total of eight years.
Midland Parking Contracts used underhand tactics and intimidated drivers into parting with up to £335 a time to unclamp vehicles and “cancel” tow-trucks which had not been called out.
Money was even demanded before clamps had been applied, and unlit signs were used at night.
Worcester Crown Court heard that the conspiracy may have netted up to £500,000, although the judge accepted that, if the figure was accurate, some of it may have been legitimate income.
Operating at a total of 19 sites, Andrew Minshull’s firm was the subject of a longrunning joint investigation involving West Mercia cops and Worcestershire’s trading standards department.
The inquiry was prompted by hundreds of complaints from members of the public.
The conspiracy’s victims, including meter readers for water and power companies, a disabled woman displaying a blue badge and an NHS worker transporting blood samples, were targeted in Redditch, Nuneaton, Evesham, Worcester, Coventry, Bromsgrove, and Cheltenham between March 2006 and August 2009.
Andrew Minshull, Debbie Worton, Simon Barry, Faisal Qadeer and Christopher Cartwright remained impassive in the dock as Judge John Cavell condemned them for “milking” the public out of up to £500,000. Passing custodial sentences ranging between 12 and 32 months, Judge Cavell said Minshull’s firm, Redditchbased Midland Parking Contracts, had often targeted and exploited the vulnerable.
Minshull, described by the judge as the “main man” at the rogue firm, was jailed for 32 months, while his ex-partner, Debbie Worton – the “public face of the company” – was sentenced to 12 months.
All pleaded guilty to fraud.