Archive for February 20, 2012


Rogue Redditch clampers who made £500,000  were sentenced today (Tuesday)

‘Licence To Print Cash’ Wheel Clampers Jailed

Boss Andrew Minshull sentenced to 32 months in prison for conspiracy to defraud. The other sentences were Barry 21 months, Worton 12 months, Qadeer and Cartwright 15 months

 People were targeted in Redditch, Nuneaton, Evesham, Worcester, Coventry, Bromsgrove, and Cheltenham

An illegal car clamping operation in the West Midlands which used vulnerable motorists “as a licence to print money” may have netted up to £500,000, a court has heard.

Worcester Crown Court was told that Redditch-based Midland Parking Contracts used underhand tactics and intimidated drivers into parting with up to £335 to unclamp vehicles and cancel tow-truck call-outs.

Six defendants, including the company’s owner, Andrew Minshull, and his partner, Debbie Worton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud in January, but their pleas could not previously be reported due to a court order.

Guilty pleas were also entered last month by Simon Barry, Christopher Cartwright, Faisal Qadeer and Lloyd Isherwood, who worked as front-line staff for the rogue firm.

Minshull, 38, and Worton, 43, both of Hatfield Close, Redditch; Barry, 38, of Lilac Close, Evesham; Cartwright, 31, of Salisbury Drive, Kidderminster; and Qadeer, 35, of Mount Pleasant, Redditch; and Isherwood, 39, of Groveley Lane, Birmingham, were charged with conspiracy in 2010 after a joint investigation involving West Mercia Constabulary and Worcestershire’s trading standards department.

Opening the case against the defendants, prosecutor Anthony Potter said the business had operated at 19 sites and was seen by its operatives as a licence to print money.

Mr Potter said the conspiracy’s victims, including meter readers for water and power companies, a disabled woman displaying a blue badge, and even a man visiting a mental health centre, were targeted in Redditch, Nuneaton, Evesham, Worcester, Coventry, Bromsgrove, and Cheltenham between March 2006 and August 2009.

The court heard that warning signs were either not prominent or on at least one occasion were erected after motorists had parked.

Estimating that the profit from the conspiracy may have been as high as £500,000, Mr Potter told the court: “Different sites appear to have been ‘policed’ with more vigour than some other sites. It’s difficult to put an accurate figure on the proceeds – we suggest a figure of up to £500,000 but it is very difficult to be specific.”

Minshull, Worton, Barry, Cartwright and Qadeer

An illegal car clamping operation in the West Midlands which used vulnerable motorists “as a licence to print money” may have netted up to £500,000, a court has heard.

Worcester Crown Court was told that Redditch-based Midland Parking Contracts used underhand tactics and intimidated drivers into parting with up to £335 to unclamp vehicles and cancel tow-truck call-outs.

Six defendants, including the company’s owner, Andrew Minshull, and his partner, Debbie Worton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud in January, but their pleas could not previously be reported due to a court order.

Guilty pleas were also entered last month by Simon Barry, Christopher Cartwright, Faisal Qadeer and Lloyd Isherwood, who worked as front-line staff for the rogue firm.

Minshull, 38, and Worton, 43, both of Hatfield Close, Redditch; Barry, 38, of Lilac Close, Evesham; Cartwright, 31, of Salisbury Drive, Kidderminster; and Qadeer, 35, of Mount Pleasant, Redditch; and Isherwood, 39, of Groveley Lane, Birmingham, were charged with conspiracy in 2010 after a joint investigation involving West Mercia Constabulary and Worcestershire’s trading standards department.

Opening the case against the defendants, prosecutor Anthony Potter said the business had operated at 19 sites and was seen by its operatives as a licence to print money.

Mr Potter said the conspiracy’s victims, including meter readers for water and power companies, a disabled woman displaying a blue badge, and even a man visiting a mental health centre, were targeted in Redditch, Nuneaton, Evesham, Worcester, Coventry, Bromsgrove, and Cheltenham between March 2006 and August 2009.

The court heard that warning signs were either not prominent or on at least one occasion were erected after motorists had parked.

Estimating that the profit from the conspiracy may have been as high as £500,000, Mr Potter told the court: “Different sites appear to have been ‘policed’ with more vigour than some other sites. It’s difficult to put an accurate figure on the proceeds – we suggest a figure of up to £500,000 but it is very difficult to be specific.”

Minshull, Worton, Barry, Cartwright and Qadeer will be sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday, while Isherwood is expected to be dealt with at a later date.

A previous court order restricting publication has been lifted.

UPDATE  Wheel Clampers Jailed

Boss Andrew Minshull sentenced to 32 months in prison for conspiracy to defraud. The other sentences were Barry 21 months, Worton 12 months, Qadeer and Cartwright 15 months .

There were tears in the public gallery as the clampers were sentenced

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Attack on pensioners bus passes and winter fuel payments is unforgivable behavior.

Free television licences from better-off pensioners would also go if the plans were adopted

Savings would also be made by means-testing child benefit payments.

But if the goverment went after tax dodgers they would save far more than they ever will picking on OAP’s.

If someone said you could avoid £100 Million in tax buying dinner for the head of Revenue and Customs you would think they were joking but sadly it’s true.

Pensioners should be stripped of free bus travel as part of £15 billion of immediate extra savings to boost the economy, a think-tank has said.

The Social Market Foundation said extra austerity measures projected for 2016/17 should be brought forward and the money ploughed into infrastructure.

It said carefully targeting where the axe fell would boost growth without increasing borrowing or damaging investor confidence – despite the “polarised and simplified” political debate.

The £1 billion estimated annual cost of OAP travel passes was one low-priority item of spending that did nothing to improve the economy and should be scrapped, it said in a report.

Another £1 billion could be found by barring savers from keeping any more than £15,000 in tax-free ISA savings accounts and £2.4 billion from means-testing child benefit payments.

Almost half of the £15 billion could be raised by halving higher rate pension tax relief and the rest from taking away winter fuel payments and free television licences from better-off pensioners.

SMF director Ian Mulheirn, who wrote the report, said: “The OBR’s game-changing assessment last November that there will have to be a further £15 billion of cuts by 2016/17 creates the opportunity for a potent growth strategy within the existing borrowing plans.

“By changing the composition of Government taxation and spending, rather than altering the size and speed of cuts, the Chancellor can make his existing plan much more growth-friendly.”

“Our plan would unambiguously strengthen the Government’s deficit cutting credibility and increase economic output without borrowing a penny more. That would go a long way towards reassuring the holders of UK Government debt as well as potentially taking tens if not hundreds of thousands of people out of unemployment.

“By refreshing our infrastructure, this plan would also lay the sorely needed foundations of the new economy that must emerge from the crash.”

DWP Ministers have been urged to suspend welfare-to-work contracts with A4e who is at the centre of allegations of fraud.

A4e gets paid around £400 for each successful jobseeker it places in employment for at least three months and a £1,200 fee for placing someone for 26 weeks, continuously or short-term.

Thames Valley Police visited the offices of A4e in Slough, Berkshire, over the claims on Friday.

The company said they concerned a “very small” number of former employees whose activities had been referred to police by A4e.

But Labour MP Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee, said the Government should consider suspending its Work Programme contracts with A4e until the matter was resolved.

“I think the Government should certainly consider suspending them. It is of great concern that any such investigation is necessary,” she told The Daily Mail. Ms Hodge has recently attacked A4e’s performance record as “abysmal”.

The company is chaired by Emma Harrison, who was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010 to help get troubled families into work. Its five shareholders were paid £11 million in dividends last year, of which Ms Harrison received 87%.

In a statement, the company said: “Thames Valley Police visited our offices on Friday for a mutually agreed meeting in relation to an allegation of fraud that was identified by A4e’s internal processes and was reported to the authorities by the company.

“The allegation concerns a very small number of former employees and dates back to 2010. As the investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment further.”

It was reported that the allegations centred around taxpayers’ cash being taken for getting the unemployed into work for just one day.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said that would not be possible under the coalition’s Work Programme because private providers were not paid until after six months. He said he had only heard about the police inquiry on Saturday night and it dated back to welfare-to-work programmes under the former Labour government.

It comes after Tesco was accused of using slave labour for night shift workers under the Goverment run workfare scheme.

Tesco has now said it will start paying people who take part after a backlash from customers.

But a number of others such as Sainsbury’s,Waterstones, and TK Max have pulled out of the workfare scheme over it’s use of unpaid labour.