Up in court: The man who clamped Her Majesty’s car

Gareth Andrews leaving Portsmouth Crown Court

Gareth Andrews leaving Portsmouth Crown Court

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CLAMPER Gareth Andrews has denied obstructing a police officer who was protecting the Queen on an unannounced visit to Portsmouth.

The 38-year-old, who works for Shoal Enforcement, is accused of obstructing officers by clamping an unmarked police car at Gunwharf Quays.

The car had been sent there as part of the security operation for the Queen’s surprise visit on May 25. The vehicle was allegedly parked in a residential space near the Blue Building when the incident happened.

Andrews, of Privett Road, Fareham, was arrested at the scene.

Wearing a grey polo shirt with the Shoal Enforcement logo emblazoned on it and black trousers he spoke to confirm his name, address and date of birth at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

Andrews pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstructing PC Mark Cox in the execution of his duty.

He also denied contravening the conditions of a licence under the Private security industry act 2001 by not displaying his badge.

The maximum penalty for these offences is a month in prison and a fine.

Bill Charlton defending said: ‘There was an initial exchange between my client and the officer, he says the officer declined to show him any kind of identification.

‘Andrews then phoned his superior and while on the phone to his superior the officer then grabbed his ear piece, produced his warrant card and arrested him for obstructing the police.’

District Judge Anthony Calloway adjourned the hearing for a trial at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on August 19.

Speaking outside court, defence solicitor Mr Charlton said Andrews would fight to clear his name.

He said: ‘Mr Andrews saw the two vehicles, which were unlawfully parked in residents’ spaces.

‘He clamped one and was in the process of clamping the second when the officer turned up and challenged him, indicating he was a police officer.

‘Mr Andrews asked for his identification which the officer allegedly declined to provide.

‘Mr Andrews then phoned his immediate superior to ask for advice and whilst the conversation was taking place it appears the officer produced his warrant card and he was arrested for the offences.’

Andrews was released on bail by magistrates.

The Queen went to Gunwharf Quays to have lunch with Sir Donald Gosling on his yacht on the day of the incident.

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