Sit-down protest on truck

Scott Bailey

Scott Bailey

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A DRIVER climbed onto a truck and held a sit-down protest in his car when tax enforcement officers tried to tow it away.

Enforcement officers came to tow away Hartlepool man Scott Bailey’s green Ford Focus car after he had failed to pay his car tax.

The two workers were hauling the car onto the back of the tow-truck on Everett Street, off Jesmond Road, when the 30-year-old came out of his house asking them what they were doing.

Bailey went back into his home and returned threatening the men with a piece of wood, before he climbed up onto the back of their tow-truck and got into his car.

Prosecuting, Tahira Bouchier told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “The defendant became verbally abusive, shouting and swearing towards them in the street.

“Then the defendant proceeded to go back into the address and came back out with a plank of wood and made a very clear and direct threat saying he would hit them over the head with it.

“He swore and told them, ‘You’re not getting the keys. Me and you are going to have our day, I’ll find out where you live and kill you.’

“The enforcement officers were distressed and in fear of their personal safety.”

Mitigating, Neil Taylor then went on to tell justices how his client clambered up to his untaxed vehicle and sat there until police arrived.

Mr Taylor said: “He watched as his vehicle was being lifted up onto the wagon because they were going to tow it away.

“He then climbed up onto the wagon and sat in the vehicle. There were words used that he shouldn’t have used. He climbed up and sat in the car until the police came and there was some more hot air when the police came. That’s all it ever was.

“Yes, he had a piece of wood, but what he did do was vent his feelings towards those people verbally.

“The closest he got to them was when he got up and sat in the vehicle and waited while the police came.”

He added: “It’s a classic example of somebody saying things he didn’t really mean.”

Bailey, of Everett Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to causing fear of unlawful violence and, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour on May 11.

Chairman of the bench Lynne Hodgson adjourned sentencing Bailey until January 6 when the Probation Service have carried out a pre-sentence report.

She released him on unconditional bail.