Man who abandoned mouldy car in Wiltshire told to pay more than £4k

The car was left for eight months without insurance, tax or a valid MOT Credit: Wiltshire Council

The owner of mouldy car has been ordered to pay more than £4,000 after dumping the vehicle in Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Council prosecuted the owner of an abandoned Volkswagen Passat which was dumped on Silverless Street in Marlborough.

Mr Simon Bell, of Herd Street in Marlborough, was ordered to pay over £4,250 in fines, costs and victim surcharge at Swindon Magistrates Court last Friday (May 6).

There is no legal definition of an ‘abandoned vehicle’, this means that council officers must decide in each case whether a vehicle is abandoned.

Mr Bell’s vehicle was eight months out of tax, had no MOT and no valid insurance and was covered with mould inside and out.

The vehicle was served with a seven-day removal notice affixed to the windscreen.

Environmental Enforcement Officers then traced the vehicle owner through their live DVLA system, and written notifications were sent to Mr Bell, giving him seven days to remove the vehicle.

He did not respond to any letters or notices attached to the vehicle, which resulted in a fixed penalty notice of £200 being issued.

Mr Bell ignored this fixed penalty and failed to turn up in court.

The court heard how he also parked a significantly out of tax BMW directly behind the abandoned Volkswagen Passat that obstructed its removal by council contractors.

The untaxed BMW was seized by Wiltshire Police using devolved DVLA untaxed vehicle powers, as part of a joint visit by council officers and Wiltshire Police.

The council prosecuted Mr Bell as a result of the non-payment of the fixed penalty notice and he was found guilty in his absence under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 at Swindon Magistrates Court.

Cabinet member for transport and waste, Councillor Dr Mark McClelland, said: “Abandoned vehicles cause a significant environmental hazard and will not be tolerated in Wiltshire. They take up valuable parking spaces, look unsightly and attract anti-social behaviour.

“This prosecution, which was a result of partnership working with Wiltshire Police makes it clear to everyone that we take this issue very seriously.

"We will investigate reports of abandoned vehicles and take formal action against owners who dump their vehicles and consider it acceptable for taxpayers to foot the bill for responsible removal and disposal.”