Ilford man in three-hour clamping stand-off
A DRIVER sat tight for three-hours after a dispute with a clamping company which saw them accused of immobilising his car with two children inside.
Mujibullah Tokhi, of Pelham Road, Ilford, insists the youngsters, aged 13 and 10, were inside when he parked the Ford Fiesta on private land behind shops in High Street, Barkingside, at around 4.45pm on Sunday.
The 29-year-old claims he got out of the car for a few minutes to help a friend carry luggage to her flat.
He said: “I saw the clamping lady and ran down to her but she just carried on.
“I couldn’t believe it. The kids were crying – they were really scared.”
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A tense stand-off followed, where Mr Tokhi claims he agreed to pay the advertised fine of �125 but refused to hand over a demanded �375.
Up to 20 residents and shop owners joined in the stand-off, during which: police were called; a resident was accused of spitting in the clamper’s face; a man was fined �80 for blocking the road with his car.
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The fee also continued to rise and eventually spiralled to �550.
Mr Tokhi said: “I was parked where I shouldn’t be, but why should I pay that much?
“The kids were traumatised. “Their mum was in tears on the phone. She paid �35 to get a taxi from Harlow to pick them up.”
Shortly after 7.30pm, Securak bosses relented and agreed to charge just �150.
But the company insists the car was empty when it was clamped and said Mr Tokhi later put the youngsters inside after refusing to pay the �125 fee.
Director Kevin Stokes said: “My female officer was on her own and became frightened when she was spat at by a young man who lives nearby.
“I told her to call the police and I then called a recovery vehicle, which I was charged for. I did not want to waste police time so I agreed to drop the clamping fee and just charge for the recovery vehicle.”