Suspended sentence for driver with 69 unpaid fines

Philip Tunnicliffe

Philip Tunnicliffe - Credit: Newham Council

A cameraman who clocked up £6,000 in unpaid fines has been given a suspended sentence - but the fines will remain unpaid.

Philip Tunnicliffe, of Linfield Road, Stoke-on-Trent, had clocked up 69 parking and driving fines from Newham Council between March 2010 and December 2014.

The 59-year-old was caught parking on pavements, driving in bus lanes and ignoring ‘no entry’ signs, but the DVLA were unable to identify the owner of the car.

He was only traced when police officers used insurance records to track the driver of the Volkswagen Passet down.

The investigation found that on five occasions the licence plate had been altered and that Tunnicliffe, who also has a property in Capel Road, Forest Gate, had used a false address in order to get cheaper car insurance.

Tunnicliffe pleaded guilty to fraudulently using a registration mark and making a false statement to obtain insurance when he appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on September 2.

He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, for both counts.

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He was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service, pay £500 costs and a victim surcharge of £80.

However the council is unable to recover the £6,079 Tunnicliffe owes as the statutory time limit for prosecutions has passed.

Cllr Ken Clark, cabinet member for building communities, public affairs, planning and regeneration, said: “For years Tunnicliffe has thought he was above the law, and I’m pleased that finally some justice has caught up with him.

“His inconsiderate parking and illegal driving could have put people’s lives at risk.”

Insp Phil Stinger, head of the enforcement partnership team, added: “Tunnicliffe thought he could get away without paying the fines, and even committed fraud to further maximise his chances.

“But he underestimated the determination of the council and the local police force to track down those who are inconsiderate and a danger on the roads.”