A Tamworth woman has won her long-fought battle with the DVLA after her car was “unlawfully” towed away, has been left devastated to find it’s been crushed.
After two-and-a-half years of battling with authorities, Anita Underhill-Smith of Grassholme, Stonydelph, is relieved that this nightmare is over.
“The last two-and-a-half years of my life has been terrible,” revealed Anita.
“No-one should have to go through it.
“There are times when I have not slept. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.”
After the vehicle was damaged by car thieves in 2009, Anita declared the car as off the road as she couldn’t afford to have it repaired.
“I asked the police if it could be parked at the back of my home and they said it would be OK,” Anita revealed.
“Because it was broken into I could not afford to get it repaired, but I kept it insured.
“In the November one of the neighbours knocked on the door saying there was a warning sticker on the car. I tried to telephone the number but there was no answer.”
However, the next day she watched from the window to see her car “going down the road on the back of a truck.”
“I phoned the DVLA and the council but no-one could tell me where my car had gone.
“I was just banging my head against a brick wall. It was phone number after phone number after phone number.
“The DVLA did not know where it was. Nobody knew.”
She moved house in January 2010, but in September there were “two men banging at the door”.
“They said ‘we are here to arrest you for non-payment of a fine’,” Anita added.
“I told them I had not had a fine, but I was taken to Cannock and into court, but no-one had any paperwork.”
Magistrates told her that the situation would be resolved, but after eight months, Anita’s name appeared in the Herald’s weekly court lists.
It stated that she had been convicted of keeping an unlicensed motor on the road, and fined lb235, plus costs.
“I went to work and everyone said ‘you’re a dark horse’,” Anita said.
“Then I read in the Herald I had been fined.
“I sent a letter to the court, saying I refused to pay and would appeal.”
Earlier this month Stafford Crown Court threw the case out.
“A judge ruled that my car had been taken unlawfully,” she said. “I represented myself against a barrister from the DVLA.
“The judge asked if I had any questions and I said ‘where’s my car?'”
An investigation showed that the car had been scrapped, leaving Anita devastated.
“It’s wrong. It’s awful to see your name in the paper guilty of an offence and you know nothing about it.”
Anita will pursue compensation from the DVLA this week after visiting her solicitor.
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