A Ewell mother is fighting the council’s claim it is not liable for her teenage son’s cracked windscreen.

Gill Phillips, of West Mead, said a lawn strimmer operated by a council groundsman flung a stone at the car, which was parked in a private drive.

Although the family didn’t see the incident happen, their neighbours said the worker took photographs of the damaged car before walking away.

Gill said: “You try to teach your children these things about having insurance and then something like this happens.

“Why should he pay? He wasn’t even in the car.”

Seventeen-year-old Ben had received the car as a birthday present and was learning to drive in it to improve his chances of getting work and has says he has now not been able to have lessons for five weeks.

Ben said: “I was really upset that someone had damaged my car and never had the courtesy to tell me they had done it.”

He added: “I am worried that I will have to claim from my insurance. How will I be able to afford insurance when it goes up after claiming, even though I have done nothing wrong?

“My parents have raised me to be honest, work hard and always do the right thing.”

A spokeswoman for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council said: “We were sorry to learn of the damage to Ms Philips' son's car.

“This matter is being dealt with by the council’s insurance providers.

“They have undertaken a full review of the case and made a decision based on the evidence available.

“A full written explanation has been sent to Ms Philips outlining the council's defence, supported by legal precedent.”