Response to Island Echo article “Charity boss convicted after row over parking ticket lands him in court”

Link to Island Echo article:

Island Echo…does it really reflect the news or the truth?

Given that there were no Island Echo reporters at all at this court hearing, it is amazing how the community online ‘island echo’ does not bother to conduct thorough investigative journalism…instead their only ‘reporter’ takes a quick snapshot outside the court and makes up the rest later..but then it is the island echo of whispers, nudge, nudge + wink winks.

This ‘story’ is actually about Captain Oates’ only access to his home, (the base of Blue Seas Protection charity), which is a 300 year old small cottage. Right of Access to his home, and to the charity’s resources, is through a council car park which was dumped in front of it in recent years. The Isle of Wight Council is the managing land agent on behalf of us Council Taxpayers. Unfortunately, Isle of Wight Council have only left a single point of access, the width of a car, to enable Capt Oates’ and his family to access.

This ‘single point of access’ is located in between tight car parking spaces. Car park visitors regularly park on this Right of Access point as the Isle of Wight Council has not made it clear enough that this ‘car space’ is actually an historical ‘right of access’, as they have only painted a yellow hatch box on the ground. The yellow hatch box is usually used as a ‘junction box’ for traffic light systems…not for Right of Access scenarios.  In fact, according to Land Registry Deeds, the 300 year old cottage has a Right of Access across its entire 50ft frontage…something the Isle of Wight Council planning + enforcement officers would like everyone to forget?

Traffic Wardens Powers abused to conduct Institutional Harassment? 

Traffic Wardens regularly fail in their duty to prevent drivers from blocking the access, no tickets or removal of offending cars are issued, as confirmed in a Freedom of Information Request 2022. The ONLY tickets ever issued was for Capt Oates car, who had no alternative but to park on the yellow hatch box in order to ‘abate the nuisance’ as the Isle of Wight Council repeatedly refused to even answer letters or seek a resolution. Capt Oates’ was forced to use his own vehicle to sit on top of the only way in/out of his home, so that it remained an emergency access for family members, who have confirmed health conditions.

Perversely, the Isle of Wight Council eventually ‘advised’ Capt Oates in July 2022, that he could use his Blue Badge, which denotes that he is disabled, on his car and ‘park’ in any car park space for upto 8hrs free of charge! However, he could NOT park on the Right of Access!! So car park visitors still park on top of the yellow hatch but Capt Oates can’t! Interesting, isn’t it…is this evidence of institutional harassment of a person with a known protected characteristic…what do you surmise?

Intriguingly, The ‘Big Boss’ at Isle of Wight Council told Traffic Wardens to repeatedly ticket Captain Oates’ car, in a spate of Institutional Harassment, and over 18 parking tickets were issued from 2018 to June 2022; and in July 2022, Northampton County Court threw back the only ticket that Isle of Wight Council have ever tried to push through the Penalty Notice system, as Capt Oates had presented a strong enough argument to repel Isle of Wight Council’s harassing and offensive ticket. 

Therefore: Who Provoked Who?

Despite numerous, polite, letters of complaint,Isle of Wight Council never responded, instead they deployed more tickets using numerous Traffic Wardens. The day before this offence occurred, Capt Oates was told by another Warden that no more tickets would be issued. On the day of the alleged offence, Capt Oates came out of his home to find another Warden again ticketing his car, saying antagonistically that he ‘loved his job’ and ‘the Big Boss had sent him’; the Warden filmed Capt Oates’ distraught reaction whilst sat in his mobility scooter, and even repeatedly called Capt Oates back, when he tried to leave the Traffic Warden…show in court if Island Echo had have been present!

Despite this institutional provocation, Isle of Wight Council’s ‘barrister’ dropped the ‘with intent’ allegation, and dropped the case to a lesser charge finally being brought 10mins before he had to plea with a threat he would go to prison if he pleaded ‘not guilty’. What would you do? 

Guilty as Charged? Guilty as Convicted?

This is institutional intimidation and harassment and the Isle of Wight Council is guilty of this offence, but the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court refused to hear all of the mitigating background which led up to this ‘offence’ of a man trying to defend his home and family, by employing the right to ‘abate the nuisance’ of public parking across a designated Right of Access and the failure of the land agent to ensure that the Right of Access remained clear at all times. Is it normal on the island that Magistrates’ don’t appear to want to hear the lead up to an incident? Are they trained to do it this ‘topsy turvey’ way? Guilty before being found innocent?

Lions’ Club Car Boot Sale

In August 2021, The Lions’ Club Car Boot Sale has also, perversely been relocated to directly outside Capt Oates’ home, and operates every Saturday morning from 8am until 2pm. The Isle of Wight Council have confirmed, in writing, that they issued the decision to relocate the Lions’ Car Boot, who were evicted from Sandown Airport following another incident with a Lions’ Club Marshal and Capt Oates (due to be heard in court in 2023) to Fort Street car park, which is 3 miles away and is directly outside Capt Oates’ home…is this ‘pure coincidence’ or more evidence of Institutional Harassment?

More information?

If you are a genuine journalist or are interested in the full facts of this case and ongoing cases, Blue Seas Protection will happily answer all of your questions, in an open and transparent way, just contact us for full details. Equally, if you are facing a similar situation with Isle of Wight Council, no matter which department you are having difficulties with, please contact us for support and information.

Together people are stronger, and voices will be heard.