A rogue wheel-clamper whose staff used threats and intimidation to bully motorists into paying hundreds of pounds in charges and fines has been ordered to pay his victims back in one of the first court cases of its kind.
Lee Peacock, 44, is one of the first clampers to be prosecuted under new laws for aggressive trading after his threatening employees gave motorists in Wembley and Harrow no choice but to hand over more than £300 each to get their cars released.
He also broke the law by running his firm, Regional Clamping Services (UK) Ltd, despite being disqualified as a director and from using the name — meaning all tickets dispensed by the company were unlawful.
Brent magistrates’ court heard that Peacock’s first clamping company, Regional Clamping Services Ltd, had gone into liquidation in February last year owing more than £90,000.
But just over a month later his clamping vans were back on the streets, terrorising drivers under the slightly altered name and with Peacock secretly running the business while another man, Roger Morris, was named as director. Motorists were forced by
Peacock’s staff to pay hundreds of pounds to recover their cars. The men’s “aggressive” behaviour led to Peacock being one of the first clampers to be prosecuted under the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Peacock, from Uxbridge, was sentenced to a total of 26 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to two offences relating to bankruptcy, two of fraud and one of aggressive trading. The clamping boss, who owns three houses, was ordered to carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work and fined £500.
He was also told to pay £3,334 in costs and to reimburse each of his victims the money they paid to get their cars back.
Chairwoman of the bench Donna Downes told him: “You decided to set yourself up as a director when you should not have done so and you made gains from your actions and acted dishonestly.”