Cowboy wheel clamper fined £5,000

A cowboy wheel clamper has had his comeuppance after swindling two unsuspecting motorists out of hundreds of pounds.

Jade Sweeney, of South Oxhey in Watford, trading as Safeguard Security, was fined £5,000 with £6,619 costs at Harrow Crown Court after admitting two offences under the Consumer Protection Act.

He was also ordered to repay each of the motorists the £480 he had charged to free their cars.

One victim, Norman Tate, left his vehicle in the car park of a car wash to get money to use the service, only to return to find it clamped. Another, Anjula Shah, had her vehicle immobilised in a derelict pub car park.

Mr Sweeney, 33, lay in wait for his victims in a tow truck and "padded" the £130 release fee with bogus extra costs, including a tow fee of £250.

Bill Bilon, head of trading standards at Brent and Harrow Council, said: "These motorists were forced to pay completely inflated bills to get their cars back, and it was a complete rip-off.

"The hefty fine should serve as notice that we will come down hard on cowboy clampers. They may make a quick buck, but they can expect to lose it in the courts."

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