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Clamped driver sues firm who hired clampers and wins landmark Court Decision

In December 2009 I appeared on the BBC Look North Programme and discussed the case of Ann Van Spall who had been illegally clamped on private land and had successfully sued the clamper for a refund. 

Unfortunately the clampers had subsequently gone out of business and I recommended that Mrs Van Spall sue the landowners who had brought in the clampers.

Well she did and has now won a landmark judgment against British Waterways Marinas Ltd who were ordered o pay the clamping costs of £250 plus costs of £85.

Mrs Van Spall commence her battle after Sector Security, who were engage to clamp vehicles at Hull Marina, charged her £250 to release a clamp on her parked car in February 2009.

When she failed to get her money back after arguing warning signs were not adequate, she took British Waterways Marinas Ltd, which leases Hull Marina to a small claims court.

In a hearing at Hull County Court, Deputy District Judge Paul Beevers agreed the private company should be held liable.

He said: "This is not a case where Sector Security could be called specialised contractors, where British Waterways may be able to say: 'We're not liable for their actions." Therefore, British Waterways are, on the face of it, liable to repay the £250.

"British Waterways are liable in civil law for the acts of its contractors, and Sector Security are contractors


In my view this is a landmark ruling which has a huge impact on past and current private clamping, even though private clamping is due to be made illegal later this year.

Mrs Van Spall said: "Companies needs to understand they are liable for the behaviour of their agents and motorists should be encouraged to let them know what is happening on their land."

Very generously Mrs Van Spall ids giving the money to charity.

When I called here yesterday to congratulate her on her victory she said that it was not about the money but the principle.


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