Warning to those who fail to pay fines

A supermarket manager has been hit with a four-figure bill after ignoring a flurry of parking tickets.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 5:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 5:43 pm
The supermarket manager ignored a flurry of tickets after he continued to park in the High Street Galashiels car park without paying.
The supermarket manager ignored a flurry of tickets after he continued to park in the High Street Galashiels car park without paying.

David Humphries’ car was frequently ticketed over several months after being parked in a pay and display area behind the Iceland store in High Street, Galashiels, where he works.

But the 50-year-old never paid the tickets or answered letters from the Scottish Borders Council asking him to reveal the identification of the driver so the fines could be sent to the culprit.

Now he has been fined a whopping £1,260 for ignoring the council letters – £60 for each offence – and there is still a £1,260 bill outstanding for the 21 original parking offences between April and July last year.

Humphries of Bourtree Place, Hawick, pleaded guilty at Selkirk JP Court to a total of 21 charges.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser told the court that there was no CCTV in the car park showing who had come to collect the car on the days of the offences and Humphries had never informed the council of the identity of the driver despite the repeated requests.

But he pointed out Humphries worked in the Iceland store which is right beside the High Street car park.

Mr Fraser also said that failing to reveal the identity of the driver carried a maximum penalty of £1,000 for each offence.

He explained that the council had to go through the laborious process of establishing who the regular keeper of the vehicle was and to find out who the driver was for the penalty to be paid.

Mr Fraser said:”In relation to all these charges he ignored the correct parking penalty, which was not paid. There were other people who could have used this car park space but have not been able to do so.

“The accused’s vehicle repeatedly committed the offences of being parked overtime. Who did that we do not know as the accused did not bother to communicate with the council and say who the driver was, which is a legal requirement.”

Not guilty pleas to nine other charges relating to the parking offences were accepted by the Crown.

Defence lawyer Colin Severin said his client was negotiating with the council about the outstanding parking fines.

He added: “He got to the point where he was bogged down with the volume of letters coming through and did not know how to react.”

Andrew Bramhall JP told Humphries that divulging the identity of the driver when an offence is committed was an important part of the Road Traffic Act legislation.

He said:”The onus was on you and it has mounted up considerably.”

Mr Bramhall said he would have fined Humphries £80 for each offence, but restricted the fine to £60 due to the guilty plea.

As there were 21 offences, the fine totalled £1,260 – and Humphries, who earns £30,000 a year from his salary as the Iceland store manager – was allowed to pay it off in instalments of £100 a month.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said afterwards: “This court case sends out a message that Scottish Borders Council will take action against drivers who fail to pay a parking charge issued in any of our pay and display car parks.

“To avoid matters going to court, drivers should pay a parking charge notice within the 21-day deadline. Alternatively, to avoid a penalty altogether, simply pay the appropriate parking fee for your vehicle’s stay.

“It is also a criminal offence for the keeper of a vehicle to fail to give the identification of the driver to the council if a parking charge notice has been issued.

“If anyone is concerned about an outstanding parking charge notice they have received please contact the council’s parking team on 0300 100 1800 or visit our website.”