Victory for trio over clamping fees

Three motorists who took on a car clamping firm over its release fees have had the charges overturned in court.

Claire Jowett, 32, Susan Ashman, 50, and John Wharton, 65, took on GMD after it demanded hundreds of pounds in release fees when they parked on private land belonging to a Halifax hotel.

George McDicken, GMD boss, was ordered to repay more than £700 at Halifax County Court.

Mrs Jowett and Miss Ashman accepted they were not authorised to park at the Imperial Crown Hotel and were liable for the £100 clamping fine.

However, they objected to a £200 fee imposed for "towing and removal" - despite the fact their vehicles were not removed from the car park.

Mr Wharton objected to a £100 fine imposed on him after he turned up at the hotel last June in his vehicle - purely to pay a release fee imposed on his partner who had parked there.

The court was told Mr McDicken had been "vindictive and bloody-minded" when he clamped Mr Wharton and did it purely to "teach him a lesson" after the pair became involved in a heated argument.

District Judge Alex Foster said: "Mr McDicken acted most reprehensibly in these circumstances. There was no good reason for Mr Wharton to be clamped."

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