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A CAR salesman who made residents’ lives a misery by parking cars in the street has been ordered to pay £1,000.

Alan Napper, of The Chase, Benfleet, used the street as a showroom for his business, Chase Cars.

Residents complained to Castle Point Council that vehicles were continually parked along the street and near the junction.

In a first for the council, they pressed charges against Chase Cars for selling cars on The Chase.

At Southend Magistrates’ Court, Napper was prosecuted in his absence for an offence under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environments Act after five cars parked for sale were found on May 22.

Napper was fined £400 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £40, with £563 costs.

Council leader Colin Riley said: “We will not take the soft option with people who flout the law and will take legal action where necessary.

Offenders need to understand they risk not only a criminal record but a hefty fine.”

Neighbours, who did not want to be named, said a petition was organised against cars clogging the streets.

One resident, of nearby Chase Close, said: “It’s a nightmare; the cars are dotted all over this street and others. They used to be parked with two wheels on the kerb but that has stopped now. At Christmas, and when we have parties, we have to use our neighbours’ drives as there is no space. We continually complained, but police said they could do nothing.”

Others claimed up to 25 cars belonging to Chase Cars were parked in the area.

Another resident said: “It’s difficult to get in and out. When I’m coming in the road I’m always very slow and coming in on the wrong side of the road because of the cars.

It is such a dangerous junction.”

THE salesman prosecuted for leaving cars in the road said the first he heard he had been taken to court was a Facebook post.

Alan Napper, who also works for Porsche and Audi, said: “I didn’t even know there was a court appearance.

“I’m going to my solicitor to sort it out. The council fined me £100 about two months ago for contravening the act, and I paid it.

“There are not 20 cars down the street. I have five cars and I don’t mark cars up for sale.

“I’ve lived here for six years with no complaints and I’m not being funny, but I have sold cars to some of my neighbours, so it is obviously just a small minority complaining.”

Mr Napper has been in the trade for 20 years and used to have a showroom in Leigh.

He said: “I think it’s pathetic, and I think there’s an element of jealousy. It’s a game. I could put three cars outside and one on the internet, then move one and put it on the internet.

There’s a way of doing things.

“Provided the cars are spaced out, I can still effectively carry on trading.”