Successful claim but car owner is left out of pocket

john wilkinson of the gorses, whose car was damaged by contaminated petrol from Murco
john wilkinson of the gorses, whose car was damaged by contaminated petrol from Murco

A Bexhill driver whose car was damaged by contaminated fuel is angered he has not been compensated - even though he successfully took the garage to court.

John Wilkinson, of The Gorses, was awarded £750 to cover damage and legal costs but has not received a penny.

Hastings County Court sent a bailiff to the garage but he came away empty-handed because there was a new owner.

On November 28 John filled up with £62 worth of diesel at Bexhill Service Station. He soon realised there was a major problem with his Ford Focus and was told by Diplocks Fuel Injection specialists in Hailsham the tank contained the most contaminated diesel they had ever seen.

John attempted to communicate with the then owner of the garage, Mr Sultan Hayat, to no avail.

He then started the legal process to claim compensation, naming the garage itself as defendant because it was a franchise with petrol supplied by Murco Petroleum.

His communications with Bexhill Service Station, Thames Rico which owns the business itself, and Murco continue to meet with “zero response” and John is frustrated by the lack of result after months of trying.

“Murco, Thames Rico, and Bexhill Service Station are laughing in the faces of the court. It seems there is very little justice unless you are powerful and have money,” said John.

No comment on the contamination was available from Murco or Mr Hayat.

An East Sussex Trading Standards spokesman advised: “Unfortunately, if the petrol station in this case was run by a franchisee, unless Mr Wilkinson can come to an agreement with the company awarding the franchise, he might need to trace the holders of the franchise at the time and pursue a claim against them as individuals.”