A WOMAN who tried to stop council wardens from seizing her car by getting inside it and refusing to move now faces a legal bill for almost £600.

Annise Stennett was fined by magistrates in Newton Aycliffe after failing to move the vehicle to private land when it did not have the correct paperwork to be left on the roadside.

The gold Renault Scenic was reported to Durham County Council in August as having been abandoned in Charlaw Close, Sacriston.

The vehicle, which was registered to Stennett, had a flat tyre and was unlocked.

A DVLA check revealed that it had no valid MOT certificate and had a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN).

A council warden visited Stennett’s home in Charlaw Close and she confirmed the car belonged to her. She was advised that, as it was registered as SORN, it should not be park on the roadside.

The 32-year-old claimed the car was parked in her personal parking space and that it needed repairing so could not be moved. When the warden again advised her the vehicle needed to be moved, Stennett became abusive.

She was given seven days to remove the car and when the warden attempted to take photographs of it, Stennett stood in front in an attempt to obscure the registration.

The warden returned to the area ten days later and the car was still in the same place.

Arrangements were made for it to be seized but Stennett got into the car and refused to move. She was eventually persuaded to get out by police officers and PCSOs.

She was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for failing to remove the vehicle but has not yet paid.

Stennett failed to appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates and was found guilty in her absence. She was fined £250 and ordered to pay £300 in costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “Abandoned vehicles are unsightly and can be a potential fire risk. It is, therefore, incredibly important that they are either stored or disposed of correctly.

“There is no reason to leave a vehicle abandoned as there are plenty of ways to dispose of them. If this vehicle had been disposed of correctly, there would have been no need for court action.”