Barnet grandmother ordered to pay £1,365 in parking fines - even though her car was stolen

Grandmother ordered to pay £1,365 in parking fines - even though her car was stolen

Mrs Panagi's car recieved 11 parking tickets while it was stolen

Mr Mustard

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A grandmother says she feels “demonised” by council officers who refused to cancel the eleven parking tickets her car recieved after it was stolen.

Vasiliki “Lili” Panagi, of Montrose Crescent, Barnet, has been ordered to pay the £1,365 in parking fines her Toyota Yaris hybrid racked up when it was taken from outside her house.

The 70-year-old reported the £25,000 car missing on Saturday, April 19 but police said it had probably been shipped overseas, so closed the case.

However, a month later, on Friday, May 16, the silver car was found dumped less than a mile from her home in Derby Avenue with just under a dozen tickets taped to the windscreen.

Barnet Borough Council parking officers have rejected her appeal, claiming they could not “verify” the police report and she would have to pay the fee.

However, after the Times Series contacted the authority, they agreed to cancel all the parking tickets.

She said: “I feel they are being totally merciless about this. They are demonising the little people who haven’t got the power to defend themselves.

“They are going for my throat. I feel completely powerless and don’t know what I am supposed to do to get rid of these fines.

“I am so stressed out about this. It is an awful lot of money.”

Mrs Panagi, who owns a small media company, bought her car on finance in March 2013, paying £285 a month.

The last parking ticket on her car was issued on Monday, May 19 – the day she went to pick her stolen car up.

She also noticed the car had an extra 38 miles on the clock, smelt strongly of cigarettes and had a small scratch on one of the wheels.

In spite of repeated letters appealing the fines, council officers refused to waive them, saying she was still legally responsible.

She added: “I feel completely let down. There was absolutely nothing I could have done to avoid getting the tickets.”

Her case has been taken up by parking expert and Times Series blogger Derek Dishman, also known as Mr Mustard.

He said: “It is nonsense. The police are meant to be one of the council’s partners, so why didn’t the warden’s handheld equipment signal a red flag?

“Surely that would have been a better use of their time, instead of giving eleven tickets to one car without a warning sign popping up?

“She’s never had a ticket before, she’s a tax-paying citizen and has proof she is telling the truth. It’s unfair.”


A statement from Barnet Borough Council said: “We have every sympathy with Ms Panagi and any motorist who finds themselves a victim of car theft.

"Normally a car will be flagged as stolen on the DVLA database but that did not happen in this case. With that being said, and odd as it may seem, under data protection legislation the police cannot share information about the car without the owner’s consent.

"We then become reliant on the owner to provide detailed information on the issue.  We have now cancelled the PCNs.”

Comments (4)

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10:48am Thu 28 Aug 14

Blackwash1984 says...

My car was stolen in May 2012. When the abandoned car was found I was repeatedly sent letters requesting I pay parking fines or face a court summons. When I recieved the first letter I told them the car was no longer in my possession, that the spare keys and log book were with the insurance company and the police had been notified of the car being stolen.

I also sent documentary evidence of this from the insurance company and police confirming this. Both documents pre-dated the date of the first parking ticket, so it was obvious the car was no longer anything to do with me.

I also informed Barnet Parking Services that I was currently working abroad and supplied them with my e-address and contact number, so corresponding to me via post was next to useless as I wasn't there to receive the letters.

Barnet Parking Services ignored this, continued to demand payment of fines or face court action via letters sent through the post, even after I'd phoned them on several occasions hoping it would would make them stop (it did not).

They finally agreed on the futility of this approach in April 2013, but I still had to resend them the documents that were in their possession a mere ten months before.

It's good to see that in the two years since indulging in this fun and games with Barnet Parking Sevices that their harassment skills are still up to scratch.

They must be so proud of their work.
My car was stolen in May 2012. When the abandoned car was found I was repeatedly sent letters requesting I pay parking fines or face a court summons. When I recieved the first letter I told them the car was no longer in my possession, that the spare keys and log book were with the insurance company and the police had been notified of the car being stolen. I also sent documentary evidence of this from the insurance company and police confirming this. Both documents pre-dated the date of the first parking ticket, so it was obvious the car was no longer anything to do with me. I also informed Barnet Parking Services that I was currently working abroad and supplied them with my e-address and contact number, so corresponding to me via post was next to useless as I wasn't there to receive the letters. Barnet Parking Services ignored this, continued to demand payment of fines or face court action via letters sent through the post, even after I'd phoned them on several occasions hoping it would would make them stop (it did not). They finally agreed on the futility of this approach in April 2013, but I still had to resend them the documents that were in their possession a mere ten months before. It's good to see that in the two years since indulging in this fun and games with Barnet Parking Sevices that their harassment skills are still up to scratch. They must be so proud of their work. Blackwash1984
  • Score: 4

10:49am Thu 28 Aug 14

NoToMob Member says...

NSL are the contractors for Barnet and they are a real scourge on society.
They are target driven (which is illegal) so why would they use common sense. More tickets = more money, they are encouraged to give out improper PCN's knowing full well only a few will contest all the way to PATAS.
Fight every PCN that NSL issue as most are issued improperly!
NSL are the contractors for Barnet and they are a real scourge on society. They are target driven (which is illegal) so why would they use common sense. More tickets = more money, they are encouraged to give out improper PCN's knowing full well only a few will contest all the way to PATAS. Fight every PCN that NSL issue as most are issued improperly! NoToMob Member
  • Score: 6

12:55pm Thu 28 Aug 14

chimpatamshike says...

I feel sorry for the driver, but what the Council should have asked is a crime reference number and if they rejected it I would have taken the case to Independent Adjudicator who will cancel all the PCN as long as crime reference number is provided. That would cost the cancel £40 for each PCN.
I feel sorry for the driver, but what the Council should have asked is a crime reference number and if they rejected it I would have taken the case to Independent Adjudicator who will cancel all the PCN as long as crime reference number is provided. That would cost the cancel £40 for each PCN. chimpatamshike
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Basshuntr says...

15 tickets for a continuous parking contravention
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15 tickets for a continuous parking contravention http://www.google.co .uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q =&esrc=s&source=web& cd=3&ved=0CCcQFjAC&u rl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. exeterexpressandecho .co.uk%2FVIDEO-Aband oned-Tiverton-car-re moved-owner-fails%2F story-20530382-detai l%2Fstory.html&ei=4B j_U7_fF9DXatKVgvAC&u sg=AFQjCNG9-dGz_J4ko c5ZrJ31WN_loPI0sA&si g2=r5pJueAEWIdRozraS UuK3Q&bvm=bv.7403565 3,d.d2s&cad=rja Basshuntr
  • Score: -2

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