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Sheppey ‘van man’ fined £1,500 for fleet of ‘eyesores’ around the island


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A man has been found guilty of parking multiple “abandoned and dangerous” vehicles across the Isle of Sheppey.

Haig Squire, 44, was convicted of leaving six large vehicles scattered around the island, including in Marine Town, Sheerness.

Haig Squire, 44, was convicted of leaving six large vehicles scattered around the island. Picture: John Nurden
Haig Squire, 44, was convicted of leaving six large vehicles scattered around the island. Picture: John Nurden

The case against him went ahead in his absence at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court yesterday after an application to adjourn the hearing was dismissed.

His legal team claimed he was suffering with “severe depression” and “couldn’t function” properly because of the stress of the case.

They could only provide a GP letter from April last year but couldn’t explain why he appeared in court three weeks ago to represent himself.

Swale council’s environmental manager Jo Mapp said complaints about the eBay entrepreneur’s vehicles had started in 2016. It is thought he has 48 scattered around the Island.

In total, the local authority has received 80 reports of abandoned and damaged vehicles around Sheppey.

Vans painted black, parked in Swale council's car park opposite the Ship on Shore pub in Marine Parade, Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden
Vans painted black, parked in Swale council's car park opposite the Ship on Shore pub in Marine Parade, Sheerness. Picture: John Nurden

After being served a community protection notice ordering Squire to move his vehicles within 21 days, six of the vehicles, which weigh up to 3.5 tonnes and are thought to be used to store car parts for one of his businesses, were monitored in Marine Town by the council’s environmental wardens between April and August last year.

Warden Lynn Bentley visited the vehicles weekly, took photos of them and recorded the position of the tyre valves to see if the wheels had moved.

Ms Bentley told the court: “The vehicles have had a very large impact on residents as they’re in a state of disrepair.

“They are dangerous to walk past and on one occasion there was a large bit of metal poking out of one at the same height as a child’s face. The vehicles attract a lot vermin because of the rubbish left around them. They are a massive eyesore.”

PCSO Sean Rendell said since 2016 he had received a number of complaints about the vehicles, adding: “They have a detrimental effect on residents as they take up parking spaces for the vulnerable.

The vans were parked in Swale council's car park. Picture: John Nurden
The vans were parked in Swale council's car park. Picture: John Nurden

“The vehicles are in very poor and unroadworthy condition. They could have a financial impact on the people in the area who own private properties.”

The court heard none of the vehicles monitored had MOTs.

Magistrates fined Squire, who owns 30 to 40 properties on the Island, £1,500, ordered him to pay a £150 victim surcharge, and a £1,500 contribution to the £9,000 court costs and to pay back £3,150 in total.

There was no forfeiture order as Swale council’s prosecution said Squire most likely didn’t know they would be applying for one.

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