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St Athan park owner ordered to pay £12k for trying to block mobile home sale

A RESIDENTIAL park owner was ordered to pay £12,000 after he tried to block the sale of his victim’s mobile home.

William Forrest, 55, who runs Castleton Park in St Athan, was brought before the courts by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

The defendant was found guilty after a trial of knowingly or recklessly providing information or making a representation which was false.

Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard the prosecution related to a residential mobile home previously owned by Gareth Hipperson’s parents at Castleton Park.

In June 2019, following their deaths, he inherited the property and decided to sell it to Tim Butcher, who returned a completed proposed sale form to Forrest.

That document indicated that a Mitsubishi car would be left on the site, but Forrest applied to the Residential Property Tribunal for a refusal order.

The court heard he claimed in a telephone conversation that Mr Butcher had indicated he would park a campervan next to the mobile home.

Site rules prohibited the parking of any commercial vehicles, touring caravans or campervans at the location.

Mr Butcher denied that allegation, indicating he had never owned a vehicle like the one described and had made no phone calls to the caravan park.

The refusal order was not granted and the sale eventually completed, but at a significantly lower price because of the delay.

Mr Hipperson claimed that a previous sale had also collapsed following similar behaviour by Forrest and in court it became clear that Forrest had submitted a number of applications for refusal orders.

Judge Shomon Khan said the prosecution had met the criminal standard and he was satisfied the defendant had knowingly produced a false statement to the tribunal to frustrate the sale and that he had done it before.

Outside the court, Councillor Eddie Williams, Vale of Glamorgan Council cabinet member for legal, regulatory and planning services, said: “This is a clear example of someone attempting to operate outside the law and so I welcome the decision of the court.

“Diligent work from Shared Regulatory Services officers has led to this prosecution.

“I hope it sends out a clear message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated and that we will take decisive action against anyone attempting to act in this way.”

After the case, a Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: “In cases where mobile homes prove difficult to sell, they are often sold back to site owners at a knockdown price.

“They are then demolished and replaced with a new mobile home that can be sold for a much higher figure.”

Forrest was ordered to pay £10,000 in compensation, fined £1,400 and ordered to pay £600 costs.

The defendant was found guilty of an offence under the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013.

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