The owner of a construction company was left with just £100 in his bank account after his van was seized by bailiffs over a wrongly issued parking fine.

Dwight Henry, who lives in Lower Clapton, thought a parking fine he was given in Evering Road had been cancelled after he confronted the issuing traffic warden about it.

As he approached his van just after 7.55am on April 5, he saw the parking attendant issuing him a ticket – even though the bay his van was parked in was not suspended until after 8am.

Mr Henry claims that when he pointed out the mistake to the warden, it was agreed that the fine should be cancelled and his ticket was ripped up.

But five months later he received a letter from bailiff Newlyn Plc saying it had been passed a debt of more than £200 for the ticket.

Despite then starting the process of challenging the fine with the Traffic Enforcement Centre, Mr Henry’s van was clamped and seized by the bailiffs at the end of last month. By then his debt had increased to £1,300.

The builder claims that he has not been able to work since as his tools were locked inside the van.

Mr Henry estimates that he has had to forgo contracts worth around £45,000 and lay off ten employees as a result.

He told Hackney Gazette: “This PCN [penalty charge notice] is not legal. It cannot be legal because it was issued before the time of the contravention [hours].

“I’ve been home since October 23 – I haven’t been able to work, I’ve had no tools, no transportation.

“Bear in mind I’m paying for insurance for this van, I’m paying tax and MOT.

“I’ve had to close my business down. I’ve just lost three contracts for £45,000 because of this situation.

“No one wants to review the evidence because if they review the evidence [they will see] I did not park illegally. No one is listening to me.”

After we contacted Hackney Council about Mr Henry’s case at the end of last week, he was rung up by bailiffs and informed that the fine had been cancelled.

His van and tools were returned to him earlier today (November 13).

But the builder says that he should be compensated for the work he has lost out on.

He said: “The council has run me into financial ruin. The ripple effect of what they did has put me out of business.

"The council needs to take responsibility for their actions.”

Mr Henry added that as he has already been forced to cancel the contracts he was previously awarded, he cannot immediately start new construction work.

He said that he will now likely have to sell his van and tools, as well as search for a new “9 to 5” job.  

A Hackney Council spokesperson said: “We’ve reviewed this case and found that the penalty charge notice (PCN) was issued three minutes before the parking suspension began.

“This should have been cancelled and we apologise to Mr Henry for the inconvenience this has caused him. 

“The PCN has now been cancelled and our enforcement agents are arranging to return his van. 

“We did write to Mr Henry on three occasions before enforcement agents became involved - and included details of how to appeal the PCN - but we did not receive a reply.

“Our enforcement agent said that they spoke to the vehicle owner on the phone who confirmed that they had received these letters from the council.”

Mr Henry denied that he had received any letters from the council telling him he owed money for the fine – and said he only became aware it had not been cancelled by the traffic warden when he was contacted by bailiffs.

Newlyn Plc did not respond to a request for comment.