Lack of ownership evidence sees judge refuse trailer's return


A judge has refused to order the return of a trailer after its alleged owner could not prove it belonged to him.

The trailer, along with a tractor unit, was detained by Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) enforcement staff in September 2016 after the vehicle was discovered without an O-licence disc; no road tax; and no goods vehicle certificate.

Alleged trailer owner Derek Lyons requested the trailer’s return, but did not supply any supporting information to the DVA or Transport Regulation Unit (TRU).

Lyons was called to a hearing in March, but did not attend. He supplied an invoice for the trailer in his absence, but DVA evidence suggested that it was registered to Lyons Bros, not to Derek Lyons.

The deputy head of the TRU refused to return the trailer, as Lyons had failed to prove he was its legitimate owner. The invoice itself was not proof of ownership, and it was established that Lyons had been given enough time to submit additional evidence to back up his claim.

In his appeal against the decision to the Upper Tribunal, Lyons said he had been unsure what information had been required by the DVA or TRU.

He claimed that he did not do anything in response to correspondence calling him to the hearing because he did not read the letter properly. He also said that his son, the operator of the tractor unit, had taken the trailer without his knowledge.

The Upper Tribunal found that Lyons was given a number of opportunities to present evidence of the trailer’s ownership. He was also provided with a further copy of the fact sheet and application form by the DVA, contrary to his claim that he had difficulty in understanding the case.