AN Ilminster man has hit out at what he describes as ‘modern pirates’ after his beloved motorbike was clamped and towed - all while he was confined to a wheelchair following a stroke.

Donald Hadfield, of Lower Meadow, was rushed to hospital in an ambulance after he suffered a stroke in January.

He was devastated to find that he had missed the vehicle tax deadline while he was admitted to Musgrove Park Hospital, in Taunton.

Mr Hadfield, who served in the Army for six years, and now works at Asda in Taunton, explained the situation to the DVLA who agreed to take no further action.

However, the fines from the clamping company, NSL, continued to rise.

Mr Hadfield said: “I had a stroke in January and I was blue-lighted into hospital. I came out on January 18 and I am still off work now and having to use a wheelchair.

“The first time that I managed to get out of the house for a short walk, I noticed my motorbike had a clamp on it and a notice from the DVLA saying non-payment of tax.

“I looked back at my emails and I had only paid for six months last time.

“I explained to the DVLA that I couldn’t pay the tax because I was in hospital. They got back to me and asked if I could prove I had a stroke. They then wrote back and said they will take no further action.

“Before that, though, the people who clamped my bike had come back and taken it away.”

Mr Hadfield’s initial fine was set at £161, but that quickly rose after 24 hours, before the bike was later taken away.

The fine then increased again, this time over £350 with added fees of £21 per day.

This far exceeded what Mr Hadfield could afford.

He added: “I would love to get it back but I do need to sell it to get an electric wheelchair.

“To me they are a bunch of pirates. They have this ridiculously high price for putting the clamp on, and with the time gone by now the fine is worth more than the bike.

“I am stuck having to say just crush it.

“They just don’t care. All they wanted was the money.

“It is just modern piracy. It is a case of big business against little man.

“I am absolutely gutted.”

NSL refused to provide a comment about Mr Hadfield’s situation.

A spokesman for the DVLA said: "The fee for clamping and for the late licensing are two separate issues and were incurred on separate occasions. 

"Although both were applied correctly and lawfully, in review of the full circumstances, Mr Hadfield will be refunded in full."