Archive for February, 2012


MEP Nikki Sinclaire bailed

Sources are telling me Nikki Sinclaire has been bailed until October

A West Midlands MEP has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament.

The arrest of Nikki Sinclaire and three other people were part of an inquiry following an allegation made in 2010 into allowances and expenses.

Ms Sinclaire, 43, was arrested at a police station in Birmingham.

Two women, aged 55 and 39, and a man aged 19 were arrested at addresses in Solihull, Worcester and Birmingham. All four have been released on police bail.

They were all arrested on Wednesday.

In a statement Nikki said

“Nikki Sinclaire attended the police station voluntarily yesterday and has co-operated with the police.  Nikki Sinclaire MEP disputes all allegations put towards her or her staff. Nikki Sinclaire MEP and her office will continue to fully co-operate with the police on this matter. The allegations at hand are old allegations from a disgruntled ex-employee who himself is under investigation and whose motives are entirely political to pursue his advancement in  UKIP. This is particularly frustrating to Ms Sinclaire who is eager to clear her name and has nothing to hide.

Due to the on-going police investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time”
Sources are telling me Nikki Sinclaire has been bailed until October.
Sources also say that another MEP thought to be from the West Midlands will be arrested within the next week.

UPDATE

Sources are telling me Nikki Sinclaire has been bailed until October

An MEP has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament.

West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire, 43, was arrested along with three others yesterday, Ukip MEP for the West Midlands Mike Nattrass said.

He said the three others who were arrested by West Midlands Police were employees who worked with the independent MEP.

West Midlands Police confirmed a 43-year-old woman was arrested at a police station in Birmingham yesterday along with three other people on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament.

Two women, aged 55 and 39, and a 19-year-old man were arrested at addresses in Solihull, Worcester and Birmingham and were taken to a police station for questioning yesterday.

Searches were carried out at the addresses of the four people by officers investigating an allegation made in 2010 regarding allowances and expenses, a police spokeswoman said.

All four have since been released on police bail, she added.

On her Twitter page today, a spokesman for Miss Sinclaire said the MEP attended the police station in Birmingham voluntarily yesterday and co-operated fully with the police.

“This is particularly frustrating to Ms Sinclaire who is eager to clear her name and has nothing to hide,” tweets on the MEP’s page said.

The MEP “disputes all allegations put towards her or her staff”, which were “old allegations made by a disgruntled ex-employee who himself is under investigation and whose motives are entirely political to pursue his advancement in Ukip”, they continued.

Due to the police investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time, it added.

It said Miss Sinclaire and her office would continue to “fully co-operate with the police on this matter”.

In a short statement, Ukip said Ms Sinclaire ceased to be an MEP for the party in 2010.

“It would be inappropriate for the party to make any comment during the process of an ongoing police inquiry,” the statement said.

Sources are telling me Nikki Sinclaire has been bailed until October.

Sources also say that another MEP thought to be from the West Midlands will be arrested within the next week.

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Young girl abandoned in Folkestone library

(Police update below article)

CCTV of woman at Folkestone library
A woman police want to question was pictured on CCTV leaving the library

A girl, believed to be two or three years old, has been abandoned in a pushchair in a Kent library.

Staff at the Folkestone library in Grace Hill discovered the child while they were closing the building at about 18:00 GMT.

Kent Police are looking for a woman, who is described as white with fine, dark, medium length brown hair.

She was caught on CCTV and was wearing blue jeans when she left the blonde-haired child.

The girl is well and being cared for by social services, said a Kent Police spokeswoman.

Anyone with any information has been asked to contact Kent Police.

(Police update woman found safe and well)

The woman Kent Police were urgently trying to trace after a young girl, aged approximately two to three years old, with blonde hair, was left in a pushchair at a Folkestone Library, has been found safe and well. She is currently being questioned by officers.

Kent Police was called at just after 6pm this evening by staff at the library who discovered the child whilst closing the library.

Hundreds of jobs have been axed and 20 Peacocks stores in the West Midlands  closed after the ailing fashion chain was sold out of administration.

A bleak day for the region’s retail sector was confirmed when the stores  were closed as part of the sale of Peacocks to Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

Across the UK, the deal will save 388 shops and more than 6,000 jobs but  administrators from KPMG said it had been forced to close 224 stores with  immediate effect, leading to 3,100 redundancies.

  Among the stores to close in the West Midlands are the branches in Birmingham  St Andrews, Redditch, Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Merry Hill, Halesowen,  Worcester, Sutton Coldfield and Swadlincote, as well as two in Coventry.

In Shropshire, two stores in Telford and shops in Market Drayton, Whitchurch  and Oswestry are to close, along with those in Tunstall, Hanley and Stafford in  Staffordshire.

Chris Laverty, joint administrator at KPMG, said: “Today’s deal ensures the  continued trading of a well-known name on the high street.

“While it is unfortunate that redundancies have been necessary, we are  pleased that we have been able to preserve the majority of the business  and jobs.”

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, which has 380 stores, will keep the Cardiff  headquarters of Peacocks but KPMG said 16 jobs will go in the city.

Peacocks collapsed under a debt mountain last month in the biggest retail  failure since Woolworths, placing 7,500 jobs in jeopardy.

Edinburgh, which beat off Indian textile and clothing giant S Kumars  Nationwide, said it would attempt to save some of the stores and jobs being lost  today.

However, chief executive Philip Day added: “As you can imagine, there will be  a considerable amount of work to undertake over the next few months to stabilise  the situation, turn this business around, get the supply chain moving again and  excite the customers with great products.”

Edinburgh last year bought 33 of Jane Norman’s 94 stores out of  administration, saving some 400 jobs.

Fashion chain Bonmarche, which was part of the Peacock Group, was sold last  month in a deal that will lead to 1,400 job losses and 160 store closures.  Private equity firm Sun European Partners bought 230 stores and will continue to  employ 2,400 staff.

Privately-owned Edinburgh Woollen Mill, which is based in Langholm, Scotland,  is to take on 338 stores, 50 concessions and three distribution centres as part  of the deal. It said Barclays and Santander had helped fund the  acquisition.

KPMG had already announced 249 redundancies from Peacocks head office in  Cardiff. Combined with the 1,400 job losses at Bonmarche, the total number of  jobs lost in the failure of Peacocks is now about 4,750.

The chain, which was owned by hedge funds  Och-Ziff and Perry Capital, collapsed under its £240 million of net debt despite  strong trading.

Its profit  margins also came under pressure from the frenzy of discounts on the high street  as shoppers reined in spending. Peacocks can trace its history back to  Warrington, in Cheshire, in 1884 when Albert Frank Peacock founded Peacock’s  Penny Bazaar. It moved to Cardiff in 1940.

The business developed and expanded in the 1990s, floating on the London Stock Exchange in  1999. The Peacock Group acquired low-cost retailer Bonmarche in 2002.

The company delisted from the London Stock Exchange to become a  privately-owned business once again in 2006 and broke the 500 stores mark in  2008.

Compay and Managing director were each fined £30,000 and ordered to pay and £26,147 Costs

A Redditch freight firm, its managing director and a Birmingham contractor have been prosecuted for putting at least 20 people at risk of lung disease from asbestos fibres.
NDS
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Avon Freight Group Ltd (AFG) and its managing director Simon Poole, together with builder Ronald McPhee, over the exposure during work to convert the unit in Hemming Road, Redditch, into a new storage centre and headquarters for AFG.AFG’s architect commissioned a survey that identified asbestos insulation board in a number of partition walls, which the company wanted to demolish, and obtained estimates for its removal from three licensed contractors.However, Worcester Crown Court heard Simon Poole instructed builder Ronald MacPhee, who was carrying out minor refurbishment work on the premises, to carry out the work even though he did not have a licence.

Mr MacPhee and two other workers removed almost 1.5 tonnes of asbestos insulation board from the site and disposed of it as asbestos cement, which can be removed without a licence, some time between 24 April and 16 May 2008.

Five months later, two other companies, who had been commissioned to demolish parts of the building and build an extension, discovered pieces of asbestos insulation board on the floor and still attached to retaining screws on the walls and alerted HSE.

Analysis of the area revealed that it was contaminated with asbestos fibres and required decontamination by a specialist licensed asbestos contractor.

HSE’s investigation into the incident found that at least 20 people – including contract workers on the project, employees of AFG and workers for a tenant who had been using the site for storage, could have inhaled asbestos fibres during the five months.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Tariq Khan said:

“As a result of the appalling failings of the company and two individuals concerned, at least 20 people now have to live with the knowledge they have been exposed to asbestos. This type of exposure could cause life-threatening illnesses in years to come but because it takes so long to develop, these people will be left with years of uncertainty.

“AFG and Simon Poole knew that asbestos insulation board was present in the walls and presumably knew they should get an appropriately qualified person to dispose of it, having received estimates from three properly licensed contractors. Regardless of safety, they instructed Ronald MacPhee to remove it.

“Mr MacPhee should never have carried out the work, and his partial removal of the asbestos insulation board left the site in an even less safe state than before, as it was contaminated with fibres.

“Only licensed contractors are allowed to remove asbestos insulating board. If we find evidence of anyone who does not have a licence working with asbestos, we will not hesitate to bring enforcement action.

“It is no excuse to claim ignorance of the law, especially as there is a wealth of advice and information available from HSE free of charge.”

Avon Freight Group Ltd, of Hemming Road, Redditch, pleaded guilty today to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £26,147 costs.

Simon Poole, of Streetly Lane, Sutton Coldfield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £26,147 costs.

Ronald MacPhee, of West Avenue, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £500 costs.

Asbestos is the biggest cause of occupational deaths in the UK, with an estimated 4,000 people dying every year from related diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Information on working safely with asbestos is available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/hiddenkiller/index.htm and www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos

Police Charge Man With Bewdley And Thornbury Murders

Today (Wednesday 22 February) Avon and Somerset Police and West Mercia Police have charged 47-year-old Stephen John Farrow with two counts of murder.

Detectives from Avon and Somerset Police have been working alongside detectives from West Mercia Police and the Crown Prosecution Service and will continue to do so.

Farrow is accused of murdering the Reverend John Suddards in Thornbury between 13 and 14 February this year (2012) and the murder of Betty Yates in Bewdley between 1 and 5 January this year (2012).

In addition the 47-year-old faces a charge of burglary relating to a property in Thornbury, between 21 December, 2011, and 3 January, 2012.

Farrow will appear at North Avon Magistrates Court on Thursday, 23 February, 2012.

Officers would like to thank members of the public for all their support on this investigation to date.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp from Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Major Crime Investigation Team said: “I would like to thank members of the public once again for the support they have shown us and for their courage in providing us with vital information.”

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson of West Mercia Police said: “I would also like to express my gratitude to those members of the public who have helped us and responded to our appeals and I would also still encourage people to come forward and talk to us if they have information which could assist our inquiry.

“We still have a strong police presence in Bewdley and hope this will help reassure people that the area, and indeed the whole of the West Mercia, remains a very safe place in which to live, work and visit.”

CPS Senior District Crown Prosecutor Siân Sullivan said: “Having reviewed this case in line with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have today decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge Stephen Farrow with the murders of Betty Yates and John Suddards. I have also authorised a charge of burglary at a separate address in Thornbury.

“I would like to remind all concerned that Stephen Farrow now stands charged with criminal offences and has the right to a fair trial. It is very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice a trial.”

Tesco backs down and offers paid work experience after customer backlash

Supermarket giant Tesco has offered to pay youngsters on a Government work experience scheme amid continuing controversy over the programme.

One of the firm’s supermarkets in central London was forced to close on Saturday after it was invaded by members of the Right to Work campaign who said they were angry at a job advert looking for permanent workers in exchange for expenses and Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The group said it planned to hold protests at a number of Tesco stores, including two in London and one in Kingston upon Thames.

Tesco announced that from now on any young person accepted for work experience with the company will be offered a choice of participating in the Government scheme, which protects their benefits for the duration of the four-week placement, or being paid by Tesco for the four-week placement, with a guaranteed permanent job at the end of it, provided they complete the placement satisfactorily.

Tesco has suggested to the Department for Work and Pensions that to avoid any misunderstanding about the voluntary nature of the scheme, the risk of losing benefits should be removed.

Richard Brasher, chief executive of Tesco, said: “We know it is difficult for young people to give up benefits for a short-term placement with no permanent job at the end of it.

“So this guarantee that a job will be available provided the placement is completed satisfactorily should be a major confidence boost for young people wanting to enter work on a permanent basis.”

Tesco has committed to 3,000 work placements under the Government’s work experience scheme, with around half already delivered.

“We will offer the choice of paid work and the jobs guarantee to all of the remaining placements we will deliver under the scheme. Three hundred young people undertaking work experience with Tesco have already found work with us and we are confident that many more will through this approach,” the company said.

Tesco has today announced that from now on any young person accepted for work experience with Tesco will be offered a choice:

– – To participate in the Government scheme, which protects their benefits for the duration of the four-week placement. Tesco has suggested to the Department of Work and Pensions that, to avoid any misunderstanding about the voluntary nature of the scheme, the risk of losing benefits that currently exists should be removed.

– – Alternatively, to be paid by Tesco for the four-week placement, with a guaranteed permanent job at the end of it, provided they complete the placement satisfactorily.

Richard Brasher, CEO of Tesco UK, said “We know it is difficult for young people to give up benefits for a short-term placement with no permanent job at the end of it. So this guarantee that a job will be available provided the placement is completed satisfactorily, should be a major confidence boost for young people wanting to enter work on a permanent basis.”

Tesco committed 3000 work placements under the Government’s work experience scheme. To date around 1500 have been delivered. We will offer the choice of paid work and the jobs guarantee to all of the remaining placements we will deliver under the scheme. 300 young people undertaking work experience with Tesco have already found work with us and we are confident that many more will through this approach.

Tesco employs 293,676 staff  in 2,715 stores across the  UK.

Rogue Clampers jailed (Update)

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The owner of a clamping company and four out of five of his employees have been sentenced at Worcester Crown Court today (21 February) by His Honour Judge John Cavell.

Andrew Minshull, owner of Midland Parking Contracts, his former partner Debbie Worton, who worked for the company in an administration role, and clampers Simon Barry, Christopher Cartwright, Lloyd Isherwood, and Faisal Qadeer were all accused of conspiracy to defraud between January 2006 and September 2009.

West Mercia Police, Worcestershire Regulatory Services’ trading standards team and the Security Industry Authority launched an investigation following around 200 complaints from motorists.

Most of the complaints were from people whose vehicles had been clamped and in many cases towed away in Bromsgrove and Redditch, although MPC operated across the Midlands.

Minshull, aged 38, of Hatfield Close, Redditch was sentenced to 32 months in prison, Worton, aged 43, of Longdon Close, Redditch was sentenced to 12 months in prison; Barry, aged 37, of Lilac Close, Evesham was sentenced to 21 months in prison; Cartwright, aged 31, of Maple Close, Kidderminster and Qadeer, aged 35, of Mount Pleasant, Redditch were both sentenced to 15 months in prison. All admitted the offence and were sentenced at Worcester Crown Court today (21 February). Isherwood, aged 39, of Groveley Lane, Birmingham has had his sentencing adjourned to a later date as pre-sentence reports were not ready.

Investigations revealed 1,500 incidents of vehicles being clamped or removed right across the Midlands, netting the company hundreds of thousands of pounds.

People who complained about the firm’s tactics were sometimes offered refunds, but in most cases did not get their money back.

Detective Sergeant Mark Roberts of West Mercia Police said: “Wheel clamping is legitimate but there are rules which need to be followed.

“Of course all drivers are going to be unhappy about having their vehicles clamped or towed, and the police do receive regular calls from angry and distressed motorists about it.

“However, the barrage of complaints we were receiving about MPC prompted us to launch an investigation, and it showed the company and its employees were effectively demanding money with menaces.

“Warning signs were placed high on walls, and often difficult or impossible to see, especially in the dark.

“The motorists also said they felt intimidated and threatened by the clampers due to their physical stature and aggressive manner.

“The clampers caused a great deal of distress to the motorists they targeted, many who were the most vulnerable members of our society, including the elderly and disabled.

“We hope other clamping companies will take note that the police are willing to pursue criminal prosecutions.”

One victim was Mrs Dorothy Webb, from Wolverhampton, who had been attending a leaving do at a restaurant in Birmingham Road, Bromsgrove, when her car was one of a number clamped.

She said: “I hadn’t realised I was doing anything wrong when I parked next to the restaurant. I was in a party of women and we felt intimidated.

“It was a cold, snowy night, and I paid the £297 demanded because I just wanted to get home.”

NHS worker Alison Overton was driving a van carrying drugs, patients’ notes and blood specimens when it was clamped on waste ground at the rear of the Slug and Lettuce pub in High Street, Bromsgrove. She was in uniform and had only parked there for a minute to make a delivery. When she returned to the vehicle the clampers had not started to clamp it, but demanded she pay up. She telephoned her manager who tried to reason with them but she ended up paying £150.

Miss Overton, from Redditch, said: “I felt intimidated and was also aware of the inconvenience it would cause to patients if there were any delays.

“These people were just making money out of causing misery. I am so grateful for the effort put in by the police to bring this case to court, and I hope it stops other firms from doing the same.”

Helen May, from Malvern, was clamped in Farrier Street, Worcester, and had to pay £125 to get her vehicle released.

She said: “There were no obvious signs warning us not to park there. Three of us actively looked for restrictions on parking, and none of us saw any. When the clampers arrived back to release the car they pointed to a sign more than 15 feet up which was unreadable even in daylight, let alone at night.

“A friend had to go back into the city centre to withdraw the cash. By this time it was late at night and she had to go down a dark alley. I was outraged that she had to take the risk of being mugged to do this.

“I felt that if the clampers had held a gun to my head and taken the money I couldn’t have felt any worse. I felt angry, traumatised and emotional. I felt I had been robbed. “I took them to court and although I won the case I did not get my money back as their head office address in Birmingham turned out to be in fact just a mailbox address.”

Another victim, who does not want to be named, was clamped on Bates Hill, Bromsgrove, after she parked on waste land, with one wheel just three inches on to private land.

She said: “I had only left my car for a few minutes when it was clamped, and I had to pay £330 to get it released.

“The warning sign was obscured so I couldn’t see it. I was absolutely furious and very frustrated.”

MPC is no longer operating.

The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK.

SIA Head of Investigation Paul Cartlidge said: “This case demonstrates the commitment of West Mercia Police and the SIA to ensuring that those working in the wheel clamping sector do so legally.

“During this police-led investigation, SIA investigators assisted by carrying out site visits, conducting interviews, and providing intelligence and witness statements.

“We worked closely together to bring this case forward and we are very pleased with the outcome.”

Trading Standards Senior Practitioner Peter Holmes said: “It was obvious that these clampers only had one motive and that was to make as much money as possible from victims.

“The volume of complaints we received about MCP was unprecedented and that led us to believe that serious criminal offences were being committed.

“I am pleased that the work we undertook and the evidence we collected assisted the police in their investigation and brought the offenders before the courts. The victims will now see some justice.”

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

A previous court order restricting publication has now been lifted.

Its the second time rogue clampers have been jailed in a month.

Earlier in February a man who ran a bogus car clamping company in Manchester was jailed for five-and-a-half years. Mohammed Asif Ashraf blackmailed at least 50 drivers by illegally clamping their vehicles and then demanding up to £600 to release them.

https://simonpreston31.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/six-in-court-over-redditch-based-wheel-clamping-firm/

https://simonpreston31.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/rogue-redditch-clampers-who-made-500000-jailed/

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

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.