Published on 14th December 2015

A wooden gavel on top of a document

On Monday 16 November 2015 Cheltenham Borough Council successfully prosecuted Dr Stephen Bexon, formerly of Elmfield Avenue, for abandoning a motor vehicle on the highway in Cheltenham.

The council received a report that a vehicle had allegedly been abandoned in Elmfield Avenue, Cheltenham. A community protection officer inspected the vehicle and deemed it to be abandoned. No response was received from the owner/keeper of the vehicle after a notice had been attached to it indicating that it would be removed if not claimed. Enquiries were made with the DVLA as to who was the registered keeper. Local enquiries revealed the owner to be Dr Bexon, who was subsequently given the opportunity to claim his vehicle. He failed to do so and the vehicle was removed and crushed.

Dr Bexon was sent a fixed penalty of £200 to his known home address. The penalty would have been reduced to £120 if he had paid it within 10 days of the penalty being issued. No payment was forthcoming which left the council no option but to take action through the courts.

Magistrates found Dr Bexon guilty in his absence of the offence listed. He was fined £400 and ordered to pay the full council costs of £446, Criminal Court Charge of £180 and a victim surcharge of £40 making a total of £1,066.

Clive Evans, community protection officer, said: “The council decided to take action against Dr Bexon as he had the opportunity to pay the fixed penalty that would have discharged any liability to prosecution. Dr Bexon had left his Vauxhall Corsa on a highway without it being taxed or having a valid MOT. The vehicle had badly rusted brakes and a build-up of detritus under and around it indicating that it had not been moved for several weeks, it also had bare wires exposed on the dash and ignition that gave concern of it catching fire.

“Abandoning vehicles can be unsightly, take up valuable parking spaces and can be detrimental to the amenities within the locality of where it is left. Some vehicles are left in such a condition that they can be a fire hazard or danger to people. The court’s verdict shows that abandoning of any vehicle is unacceptable and that the council will take the appropriate action when we have sufficient evidence to proceed with a case.”

Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, added: "Abandoning vehicles in residential streets is completely unacceptable. The successful persecution again shows the council's determination to stamp out this problem.

“The size of the fine imposed by the Courts should serve as a serious warning to anyone considering abandoning a vehicle in Cheltenham."

The maximum fine for abandoning a vehicle is £2,500 and/or up to three months imprisonment.

For more information on abandoned vehicles and how to report them visit our web page.

For press enquiries contact: Kelly Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 01242 775050, email [email protected]