Prosecuted - for putting 'for sale' notice on his cars
AN "OVERZEALOUS" council's decision to prosecute a motorist who put for-sale notices in two cars' windows was criticised by the High Court yesterday.
The London borough of Newham took local government worker Johnson Onasanya to court accusing him of "unlawful street trading".
But Lord Justice Maurice Kay, sitting with Mr Justice Mitting, ruled that the local authority had gone wrong in law.
A lawyer in the case claimed: "This ruling will send shockwaves among local authorities."
The judge said the two appeals arose from two separate prosecutions of Mr Onasanya, and were "a graphic illustration of what can happen when a prosecutor becomes overzealous".
It had never been suggested that Mr Onasanya, a local government officer employed by a neighbouring borough, was "a professional street trader".
In the first case brought against him by Newham, Mr Onasanya was convicted of "exposing or offering for sale" a Volvo without a street-trading licence. Mr Osanaya said that the car was left in the street because his wife had driven it to visit their GP.
In a second case, heard the following day before a different district judge, Mr Onasanya was prosecuted for unlawfully exposing and offering for sale a blue Rover car in the local High Street, on three separate dates.
He said he was out of the country at the time and had loaned the vehicle to a friend, expecting it to be kept in a garage. He was acquitted.
Lord Justice Kay said Mr Onasanya was "wrongly convicted in respect of the Volvo, but rightly acquitted in respect of the Rover".
He added: "It seems to me that this is another example of just how zealously Newham seek to approach this particular legislation."
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west