A couple who returned to the UK after a summer break in Murcia were shocked to find a speeding fine awaiting them.
“I came home – August 16 – just before midnight. We opened the post and my wife came in and said I had a speeding fine from the 5th August. I said it can’t have been either of us, as we were away then,” said Gary Thornburn.
The couple returned home to receive a prosecution notice that their Golf GTI had been caught speeding in Manchester, despite leaving the car with an airport meet and greet firm.
Gary Thornburn and Clare Beards, from Leeds, had dropped off their car at the Manchester Terminal 3 Meet and Greet on August 3, before they jetted off for 13 days in Murcia.
After two weeks in the sun a prosecution letter from police awaited them on their return on August 16.
The letter, dated August 10, outlines their car was caught driving at 55mph in a 30 zone, along Alan Turing Way.
Pictures in the letter showed a white Golf GTI – with the same number plate – committing the offence.
But the offence occurred on August 5 – two days after the couple had left their car with the official firm.
A Manchester Airport spokesman confirmed the car was taken to the safe compound by meet and greet staff on August 3, but they claimed the vehicle remained there for the entirety of the couple’s trip, so couldn’t have been used to commit the offence.
Mr Thornburn and Ms Beards have contacted the police, explaining that they were in Spain when the alleged offence was recorded – and neither of them were driving the car.
“We had dropped the car off at Terminal 3 on Wednesday 3rd, at around 10pm. I knew they would transport it elsewhere to a safe location.
“We used the official meet and greet firm as we wanted to make sure the car was looked after, because it was very expensive.
“I wouldn’t have ever thought somebody would’ve been driving around in it going at such a speed. It’s a criminal offence and extremely dangerous going 55mph in a 30 zone,” said Gary.
Upon opening the prosecution letter, issued by Greater Manchester Police, he said they immediately got in touch to inform the force that they were out of the country. However, the airport has remained firm in saying the car did not leave the compound between the dates of the trip, indicating that the car caught speeding could not have been the same one.
The couple is waiting to hear from Greater Manchester Police after getting in touch to inform them they were not responsible for the speeding offence.
A spokesman for Manchester Airport said: “We are aware that a customer who booked meet and greet car parking at Manchester Airport has received a notice of intended prosecution from Greater Manchester Police, which relates to an alleged speeding offence that took place while they were on holiday.
“We understand this would be distressing for the customer concerned, and launched an immediate investigation after being notified.
“This investigation has indicated the car that was booked in with us remained in a secure storage area until it was collected by the customer on their return. The key to the vehicle was also securely stored throughout.”
Caption: Pictures show white Golf GTI – with same number plate.