Ilford dad’s life made hell after car cloned

A father-of-three was terrorised for more than a year, received speeding fines totalling thousands of pounds and had bailiffs turn up at his house nine times after his car was cloned.

Although he finally managed to persuade police that it was impossible for him to have been in two places at once, his car was then confiscated by bailiffs and only returned days later.

The number plates of Derek Marshall’s Mercedes were stolen about four years ago while his car was outside his house in Mortlake Road, Ilford, and put on another car.

It was only a year ago that Mr Marshall became suspicious of the tickets he kept receiving when he noticed they were for places he had not visited.

“I would have been paying for the rest of my life for tickets that were not even mine,” the 41-year-old said.

“I’ve not been able to sleep, I keep thinking my car’s going to be taken. I’m 20 stone and I was intimidated by those bailiffs.”

The police accepted that he was not responsible for the tickets in May and suspended two of the warrants put out by the courts.

Most Read

Mr Marshall said: “The CCTV images show the car had different wheels and tinted windows, but they look almost identical. The police told me it’s happening all the time. It’s much easier than identity theft.”

Mr Marshall, who worked as a consultant to local councils and has trained as a bailiff himself, said he was determined to take legal action against the firm of bailiffs.

“I’m not normally intimidated by people, but it was really scary,” he added. “It’s killed me for a year. The easiest thing would be to call it a day. Would anyone else have the balls to take on those bailiffs?”

Mr Marshall says the issue is not being taken seriously enough by the authorities and there is no effective process to combat car cloning.

He asked: “How many people have had tickets which they’ve paid and it’s not theirs? They’re driving around on your insurance committing crimes and people think it’s your car.”