Man’s fury over parking fine

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Law and order
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AN ANGRY Chesterfield man attacked a bailiff’s van following a dispute over a parking fine, a court heard.

Martin Lomas had failed to pay the £60 fine he picked up in Sheffield so the city council hired a bailiff.

The bailiff, who had a warrant, got no answer at the door. He left a note and clamped Lomas’s Ford Granada, which was parked on the drive.

“He went back to his van and sat inside it and the defendant ran across and, finding the door locked, kicked the vehicle.

“He grabbed the door handle, which came off, and the complainant drove away and called police,” prosecutor Fernando Rodrigues told Chesterfield magistrates.

When the bailiff returned he found the clamp had been removed from the Granada and was in a garage. Lomas had smashed it off with a sledgehammer.

Lomas, 48, told police the Citizens Advice Bureau had advised him not to speak to the bailiff.

“He said he saw red when the note was pushed through his letter box. He saw the clamp, smashed it off and damaged the van,” added Mr Rodrigues.

Lomas, of Miriam Avenue, Somersall. admitted damaging a Renault van and a wheel clamp belonging to the Marsten group on March 22.

He had previous convictions for assault and damaging a telephone.

“You obviously over-reacted,” District Judge Andrew Davison told him, imposing a one-year conditional discharge with £200 compensation.

“He suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and he has been assigned a social worker,” said Steve Brint, for Lomas.

Lomas had paid for two hours parking while attending Sheffield County Court but the hearing lasted longer and he got a fixed penalty ticket.

The city council instructed a bailiff following non-payment of the fine and Lomas’s car was wheel-clamped.

“He saw red and went to confront the bailiff who was sat in a vehicle. The door handle was pulled with some force and it came off and he kicked the car,” added Mr Brint.