A CLAMPED driver enlisted an armed gang to help get his car back after it was towed away from a Leeds city centre car park.
Shaun Barnes was raging at being “ripped off” and hatched a plot to avoid paying the £260 release fee West Yorkshire Clamping were demanding to return his 11-year-old Ford Fiesta.
It was clamped in a private car park behind West Point Flats and hauled to a Wakefield depot by an SAS Recovery truck on July 30 last year.
Barnes, 21, of Brookfield Gardens, Rodley, Leeds, called West Yorkshire Clamping Services and arranged to have it delivered back to the West Point Flats car park.
But instead of paying up, Leeds Crown Court heard Barnes turned up with his brother Samuel, 20, and two other men – one armed with a crow bar – to meet SAS Recovery driver Saquid Hafeez and his cousin Ikhlaq Rehman as they delivered the Fiesta.
Prosecutor, Simon Batiste, said: “Samuel Barnes went straight to Mr Hafeez’s window, shouting and swearing and threatening to
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smash the truck up if he didn’t open it. Shaun went to the passenger window, demanding the car be released. He was shouting and swearing, he had a Stanley knife.”
The court heard Mr Rehman told them to “back off” and said he would release the car.
One of the brothers climbed on the truck and cut straps holding the car as a third man stood on the back of the truck acting as a lookout.
Mr Batiste said: “Mr Hafeez was threatened by one man carrying a crow bar that he would be hit to the back of the head if he didn’t hurry up.”
Shaun Barnes started the engine and drove the car off the truck and onto Wellington Street.
Both brothers admitted affray.
James Keeley, for Shaun Barnes, said: “He felt he was being ripped off and being charged far too much money in order to retrieve his car.”
Sentencing the brothers, Mr Justice Butterfield told them: “You behaved in a threatening, disturbing and unpleasant way. It is perhaps understandable you were angry and frustrated at what happened, but that is no excuse.”
Samuel Barnes, also of Brookfield Gardens, was sentenced to nine months in a Young Offender Institution, suspended for two years plus 100 hours unpaid work.
Shaun Barnes was sentenced to 10 hours unpaid work. The brothers must pay £750 prosecution costs.