An unlicensed car clamper who a judge said was guilty of the “ruthless exploitation” of motorists has been jailed for two years.
Andrew Baker, 28, of Birmingham, admitted a charge of conspiring with others to make unwarranted demands from motorists . The city’s trading standards department received more than 100 complaints about his company, Inter Park UK. Victims complained there was not enough warning their vehicles may be clamped.
Birmingham City Council, which brought the case against Baker, said he ran his business in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Walsall and Milton Keynes. An inquiry into the company began after trading standards officers received complaints from motorists saying they had been unfairly clamped or towed away by Inter Park UK during 2007 and early 2008.
Trading standards said motorists complained their cars were clamped “within minutes”. Returning drivers would be told the tow truck had already been called and would have to not only pay £125 for their cars to be released, but also £325 for the two truck, even if they had not been towed. The department got 70 complaints in 2007 with numerous Christmas shoppers being towed at a site in New Canal Street, Birmingham.
One woman, shopping with her four-year-old daughter, said she had become distraught when her car was towed.