Holloway pensioner’s car towed then returned with windscreen smashed
PUBLISHED: 17:15 12 January 2011
AN ISLINGTON resident is angry and frustrated after his car was towed from outside his home and then returned to him with severe damage.
George Hill, a 62-year-old pensioner, of Daren Court in Carleton Road, Holloway, had his 16-year-old Rover towed by a parking security firm, after another driver used his resident’s space, forcing him to leave his car in a visitor’s bay.
He said: “My only crime was to park in the visitor’s parking bay and forget to put the visitor’s permit in the windscreen. But there is a resident’s parking permit visible in the front of the car. All I did wrong was forget to put up a different permit and they towed the car.”
When he contacted Wing Security, the company responsible for estate parking in Islington, Mr Hill was told he would have to hand over ownership of the car to them if he was unable to pay a £450 recovery fee.
He said: “It was not an option to give them the money because I haven’t got £450. So I went down to the pound and handed them over the log book and MOT certificate.”
Mr Hill uses the car to take his 91-year-old mother Molly Hill shopping from her home in Gospel Oak three times a week.
He said: “I had to get three buses to get to my mum.
“And then once I got to her, we then had to take a 24 to get down to Camden market. We went shopping and it was really difficult for her.”
Mr Hill contacted Jeremy Corbyn, Islington North Labour MP, and Councillor David Wilson, who represents St George’s ward, about the incident and a council inquiry was launched.
Mr Corbyn said: “We have every sympathy with Mr Hill and understand it would have been better if the car was clamped rather than towed as it was not causing an obstruction.
“Someone should not have been parking in his space, and hopefully something good can come from this, in regards to better policing on council estates.”
Mr Hill was informed by his estate manager that his car would be returned to him, free of charge – only to be told by Wing Security that the rear windscreen of his car had been severely damaged while in its possession.
He said: “They said that the rear window had been damaged and that they had taped it up for me.
“I wasn’t really sure what state the car would be in but it sounded quite serious.
“When I got the car back I saw that the rear windscreen was completely shattered. It’s taped up and you can’t see anything out of it. I don’t really know whether I am expected to pay for it or whether they will. The man who dropped off the car didn’t really seem to know anything about it. I’ll have to wait and see whether they will accept responsibility for it.”
A spokesman from Homes for Islington said: “Mr Hill’s car was towed on December 20 because it was parked in the wrong bay and we received a complaint about this from another resident.
“We looked into the personal circumstances of this case and as a gesture of goodwill returned his vehicle to him.
“It is unfortunate that there is a report of damage to the car. We have asked our contractor for a report on how the damage happened and hope pictures from CCTV at the car pound will clear this up.”
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