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5th Jul, 2022

Droitwich man ordered to pay £700 for running illegal garage

Droitwich Editorial 11th May, 2015 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

A DROITWICH man who illegally ran a garage from his home in the town has been ordered to pay almost £700 after he was prosecuted by Wychavon District Council.

Martin Knight, of Pilgrim Road, pleaded guilty at Worcester Magistrates Court to breaching an enforcement notice banning him from carrying out vehicle repairs and maintenance from the property for commercial gain.

In November 2006, following complaints, the 34-year-old was issued with an enforcement notice to stop using his home as a garage.

That order was initially complied with, but since February 2009 the council has received regular complaints.

His activity was temporarily halted after warning letters were sent out to him by the council, but officers were unable to take further action at that point, due to a lack of information.

Detailed information was then obtained by the council last year, showing that between June 22 and August 8, 2014, 27 vehicles had been worked on at the address.

When questioned, Knight claimed the vehicles belonged to family members living at the property and he was making no financial gain.

But an investigation by the authority showed only one of the vehicles was registered to Pilgrim Road, while the others had no registered keeper, were registered to other addresses or did not match the make and model on the DVLA records.

To begin with – when the case went before the courts in November last year – Knight pleaded not guilty, vowing to produce logbooks proving the vehicles were registered to Pilgrim Road.

He later told the court details had been swapped via a dedicated website and, because of that, the logbooks had not been updated.

But he was unable to produce details of the swapping logs and when the council contacted the website, it was confirmed Knight’s account had only been used to deal in car parts.

When presented with the information Knight changed his plea and admitted breaching the notice by working on seven to eight vehicles during the period and receiving between £600 to £700 for carrying out minor repairs and maintenance for friends and family.

He was fined £400 and was ordered to pay costs of £250 and a £15 victim surcharge.

He will pay it back at a rate of £60 a month.

Sentencing, Deputy District Judge James Tindal told Knight even though he had only admitted breaching the notice on a limited basis, it was still a serious matter.

He said Knight’s actions had been deliberate, disruptive and disrespectful and warned he would be more severely punished if he resumed his illegal activities again.

Graeme Duerden, development control manager at Wychavon District Council, said: “Although it may not seem serious or significant what Knight was doing, we should not underestimate how the other residents of Pilgrim Road have been adversely affected over the last six years.

“We hope the action we have taken means they can now return to enjoying the quiet and peaceful environment of their own homes in what is a residential area.”

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