| 8.7°C Belfast

Council rapped for scrapping hospital patient’s BMW

An ombudsman has found the council at fault of maladministration after destroying the car.

Close

The BMW was destroyed despite the council not checking who its owner was through the DVLA’s vehicle database (John Stillwell/PA)

The BMW was destroyed despite the council not checking who its owner was through the DVLA’s vehicle database (John Stillwell/PA)

The BMW was destroyed despite the council not checking who its owner was through the DVLA’s vehicle database (John Stillwell/PA)

A council must pay a man £2,500 after it destroyed his BMW while he lay in hospital.

Flintshire County Council in North Wales removed the man’s car after it was left outside his home for three days while he underwent surgery.

A report by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales found the council had not tried to identify its owner through the DVLA before removing it from outside his home, nor tried to inform the owner of its intention to do so.

The BMW’s owner, referred to as Mr G in the ombudsman’s report, was in the middle of restoring the vehicle, which contained his tools for its restoration worth hundreds of pounds, and had declared it off the road.

This is as classic a case of maladministration as I have witnessed in four years of officePublic Services Ombudsman for Wales

When police informed the owner the council had removed the car, he contacted the council only to be told it had already been destroyed.

But the BMW was not actually scrapped until two weeks later.

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, Nick Bennett, said: “I was astounded by the sequence of events that led to the complainant having his car destroyed and clearly in this case the council has failed him.

“This is as classic a case of maladministration as I have witnessed in four years of office.

“It adds insult to injury for Mr G that the car contained tools he was using to restore his cherished BMW, and I am pleased the council will at least provide redress to cover the costs of this.”

PA