Dundee parking fine woman declared bankrupt with £37,000 debts

The landmark legal ruling was made at Dundee Sheriff Court earlier this year
The landmark legal ruling was made at Dundee Sheriff Court earlier this year
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A woman who was ordered to pay £24,500 in unpaid fines after ignoring hundreds of parking tickets has been declared bankrupt with debts totalling more than £37,000.

In a landmark ruling at Dundee Sheriff Court earlier this year, Carly Mackie was told she had to pay the unpaid charges to a private parking company.

The 29-year-old had taken to parking her car in the city’s Waterfront without a permit. She claimed she had a right to park in the area as she was living there at the time.

Ms Mackie, from the city, also believed the charge notices could not be enforced under Scottish law.

However, Sheriff George Way said the charges served against her by the firm, Vehicle Control Services (VCS), were from a “valid contract” and she was liable for them.

The parking tickets were left almost daily on the windscreen of Ms Mackie’s Mini, which was parked in front of her parent’s garage, near their West Victoria Dock Road home.

There were eight signs in the vicinity, advising motorists that they could only park in designated areas, and would require a permit to do so lawfully. Those found parking without a permit were liable to be fined £100 a day.

VCS took Ms Mackie to court last year when she racked up an £18,500 bill for ignoring more than 200 penalties.

Sheriff Way ruled that Ms Mackie had to pay the outstanding charges, including interest, charged at eight per cent a year, until the debt was paid.

It is thought to be the biggest ever parking fine in the UK, and the first time a Scottish court has ruled on a dispute between a member of the public and a private parking company. He said in his judgement: “She knew perfectly well what the signs 
displayed and that she was parking in breach of the conditions.

“She stated (effectively a protest position) that parking charges were illegal and unenforceable in Scotland and that she could park where she liked as her father’s guest.

“The defender is not the tenant. The defender’s car was an additional burden on the parking facilities and she was the same as any other interloper.

“She was offered a permit by the factors (at a reasonable charge I think) but she refused on principle.”

Sheriff Way added: “Parking is not only an amenity but a valuable commodity in modern life.”

But just six months after April’s ruling, Ms Mackie has been declared bankrupt with debts totalling £37,546.

Documents lodged with the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AIB), the Scottish Government agency responsible for administering the process of personal bankruptcy and corporate insolvency, show that she has now left Dundee and has moved to Paisley in Renfrewshire. She is working as a member of the cabin crew with an airline.

The case summary filed with the AIB show that Ms Mackie was awarded sequestration – the legal term for bankruptcy proceedings – on 22 June.

Ms Mackie was not available for comment.