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David Hirst, from Deal, wants to find out how his car was damaged in West Street car park

Clear your name - that is the call to Dover District Council from a Deal resident trying to find out who damaged the roof of his car after it was parked in one of the authority's car parks.

David Hirst, 40, of King Street, says his silver Renault Clio has been written off following damage that was caused to it while parked in DDC’s West Street car park.

He noticed the damage on Thursday, October 13, the day after DDC installed new ticket machines.

David Hirst
David Hirst

Mr Hirst has logged the incident with police but first, he is asking the council to allow him to see the CCTV - rather than pay the £245 they’re requesting - to prove it wasn’t one of their cherry pickers that caused it.

Mr Hirst, a piano tuner for more than 20 years, said: “The top of my car has been crushed evenly, leaving a mesh of three lines. It’s like a waffle shape on top of my car. It’s looks very much like it’s been crushed by a cherry picker.

“My insurance company and damage assessors said the damage could not have been caused by a person, but rather machinery.

“If they haven’t done it, wouldn’t they want exoneration, want to clear their name?

The damage has left a mesh of three lines
The damage has left a mesh of three lines

“Slater and Gordon want to take my case on but I’ve decided not to go ahead with it yet because I want to give the council the benefit of the doubt, and give them the opportunity to take responsibilty for what I think they’ve done. I think that’s the Christian thing to do.”

Mr Hirst had been ill with an ear infection and had only used his car once that week. He says he was not involved in any collisions.

He described his silver Renault Clio as the best, most reliable, car he’s had with only 50,000 miles on the clock. He had spent £300 on bodywork earlier in the year to improve its appearance.

He said: “I was devastated. I felt hopeless when I saw the damage.”

The lining on the inside of the car has come away
The lining on the inside of the car has come away

The car cannot be repaired but it is still mechanically sound. But in just a month, the damage has worsened, with the inside lining of the roof falling away and a loose seal allowing water in.

Police spokesman Sally Smith confirmed the damage to the car had been reported.

Mr Hirst has now contacted the police again asking for help in seizing the CCTV footage.

Dover District Council spokesman, Andy Steele, said: “We are currently investigating.

“We confirm CCTV footage can be requested by insurance companies and a charge of £17.50 per hour is made for the time it takes us to search and collate the information.

“As this charge is per hour, the total cost is naturally greater the longer it takes to complete.”

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