Section 22 Order - life tenant for a vehicle

Advice and Assistance from Cohen Cramer

A recent Section 22 case we have successfully challenged resulted in a Judge finding that a vehicle registered to the Defendant was actually held on a life trust for his mother, as it was purchased for her benefit, and therefore not an available asset to him.

The 22 Application was made against our client when the Prosecution discovered a vehicle registered in his name which had been valued at only £1,500.00.

The Defendant is a full-time carer for his mother and this vehicle had been purchased specifically to allow storage of her wheelchair and to assist her with getting around and performing daily tasks.  His mother had paid for the car as it was bought with the intention for her son to assist her on a regular basis.

The Prosecution argued the vehicle belonged to our client as he was the registered keeper and it was kept at his address and thus should be sold to pay towards his Confiscation Order.  We ran a successful argument that while our client was the registered keeper, the car was purchased for the benefit of his mother with her money and therefore not belonging to him.

The life trust meant that even though the Defendant had legal ownership of the vehicle, it was accepted that his mother was the sole beneficiary, despite her not being able to drive or holding a licence.  The mother as the life tenant therefore had the right to the benefit of the vehicle for as long as she required.

Ultimately it was found that the vehicle had been purchased with his mother’s money and for her benefit and therefore not an available asset to the Defendant.

Angela Terenzini 30/07/19