DRIVEN MAD: Motorist hit with 10 fixed penalties for car he doesn't own

A motorist is being driven mad - by receiving nearly a dozen fixed penalty notices for a £200,000 car he does not own.

Monday, 21st August 2017, 8:22 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:00 pm
Gordon King of Longton, Preston, keeps receiving penalty notices relating to his car, as someone has a number plate that looks the same as his

Gordon King, 76, has been bombarded with warning letters, claiming a luxury Bentley Mulsanne bearing his number plate has been flouting the congestion charge in London.

The pensioner has been left baffled by the fine notices as he owns a modest, white Peugeot 3008 - and has not even been driving in the capital.

Frustrated Gordon, of Longton, says the saga has been going on over a seven-year period, with seven tickets arriving this year alone.

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CCTV snaps on the penalty documents show a flashy dark-coloured Bentley, with a number plate very similar to Gordon’s own personalised plate, K11 NNG.

Gordon has agonised for years over whether the Bentley’s plates are simply false or whether they have been accidentally or deliberately altered to look like his reg.

All he knows is that the tickets keep coming and no-one seems to be prepared to stop it happening again. Gordon is at the end of his tether, and wants to know who will step in and investigate.

He said: ”This guy is still using these plates. It’s astonishing. It must be a crime. I keep telling people about it but I feel like I am going round in circles.”

The Bentley with a similar number plate

The saga began in 2010 when Gordon received his first penalty notice.

He disputed it because it was not his car and he had never driven his car in London. The authorities accepted his challenge and cancelled it.

But since then it has happened a further nine times.

The notices all carry a picture of the Bentley but are addressed to Gordon. He has never actually had to pay the fixed penalty notice amount of £65, with warnings it could riuse to £195 if not paid promptly.

The Bentley with a similar number plate

However, he is fed up of the time it takes to contend each erroneous notice and just wants the problem to stop, but says he is being passed on to various authorities, to no avail.

Gordon said: “My appeals to Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police and DVLA Swansea have failed to prevent repeats, even though some justice has prevailed in that each PCN has been cancelled after lengthy and stressful battles.

“Each of the above organisations say it is the responsibility of the others to take action for what I understand is a criminal offence.

“An argument which I find baffling. Who can I appeal to in order to get this bureaucratic nightmare off my back once and for all?”

Gordon bought his personalised number plates in 1993 as they bear a resemblance to his surname. When he started receiving penalty notices, he assumed the Bentley was using false plates.

But when he looked closer at the photographic evidence it looked like something had been added to make a ‘C’ on the plate look like a ‘G’.

And when the Lancashire Post put that registration number into a well-known car-buying website, it showed the car bearing it was a Bentley Mulsanne.

The Bentleys cost around £220,000 - around 10 times the cost of a new Peugeot 3008.

After being contacted by the Post, Peter Blake, TfL’s Director of Service Operations, said: “We apologise to Mr King for any distress caused from the Penalty Charge Notices he has received. To ensure this doesn’t happen again we have put Mr King’s details on a list that will instantly alert us to the anomaly in the future.”