A SALISBURY shopworker was pursued for months by Wiltshire Council for parking fines run up by someone who bought his car.
But 25-year-old Ben Lambourne’s ordeal came to an abrupt end on Monday after the Journal took up his case.
His stepfather, Salisbury businessman John Lambourne-Richardson, said the family received a letter dated last Wednesday, the day after the newspaper intervened, to say the fines were being dropped.
“They have seen the light, and I am very grateful,” said Mr Lambourne-Richardson, who runs Salisbury Chocolate Shop in the High Street. “But I am still angry. The situation should not have escalated to this point.
“If they firmly believed the procedures they followed were correct, then intervention would not have made any difference.
“They have wasted hours and hours of people’s time.”
The saga began last October when Mr Lambourne sold his Peugeot in the street to a man he met through a third party and knew only as “Bobby”.
Mr Lambourne, who works at the chocolate shop, received £150 in cash.
His stepfather sent off the change of ownership paperwork to the DVLA.
Then three penalty charge notices for parking fines arrived over the next month.
Ben tried numerous times to phone the buyer, but got no answer.
Mr Lambourne-Richardson said: “I took it up with the DVLA and they said our paperwork had never arrived, but they accepted that Ben was not the owner, and sent us a letter to that effect.
“I sent it to the council but they said it wasn’t proof.
“Ben’s insurers also provided us with a letter in December to say that he took the Peugeot off his insurance on November 1.”
The council told him that one of the tickets could be challenged by going to an independent adjudicator but it was too late to challenge the others.
“The charges were £230 and escalating,” he said. “I even wrote to Jane Scott , the council leader, asking for common sense to prevail. It was all very worrying for Ben. He would never knowingly be on the wrong side of the law.”
Mr Lambourne said: “I wouldn’t have known where to go without my stepfather’s help.”
A council spokesman said: “We are sorry for any concern this has caused. However, we have now cancelled the penalty charge notices.”