A PROPERTY developer who fought back against a wheel clamper by cutting a clamp off a workmate’s van has been found not guilty of criminal damage and common assault.

Jengiz Ali admitted using an angle grinder to cut the clamp off the vehicle at the back of the old Woolworths shop in Chatsworth Parade, Queensway, Petts Wood, during a dispute between clampers and builders.

He also admitted pushing the clamper who had put the device on the white Renault van during the incident on November 4 last year.

But on Monday (April 18) Bromley Magistrates’ Court heard the signage about clamping in the area was unclear and Mr Ali had cut off the clamp after asking for it to be removed because he believed it had been unlawfully put on.

The 45-year-old told the court he thought the clamping was unlawful because he thought when he bought the old Woolworths plot, he had also bought the service road behind.

And he told the court he had pushed the clamper away because he did not want him to be harmed when he was using the grinder.

Mr Ali’s solicitor Mike Arnsby also said they did not believe there was a contract between the clampers London Parking Services and Smartypants, the dry cleaner which actually owns the stretch of service road where the van was parked.

Finding Mr Ali not guilty of both charges, the chairwoman of the bench Lynne Ramsay said: “We do not find the criminal damage proved as Mr Ali believed he was removing an unlawful clamp on a private road.

“Mr Ali thought he was acting reasonably as he did not want Mr Dawson [the clamper] to be harmed by his actions.

“We find Mr Ali not guilty of criminal damage or common assault.”

Speaking after the verdict Mr Ali, of Towncourt Lane, Petts Wood, said: “I’m just delighted.

“I do not think they had any right to clamp the vehicle and I think they were trying it on.

“If they had a contract with the drycleaners they would have produced it.”