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Norwich man fined £100 for parking in disabled bay for four minutes while being sick

PUBLISHED: 15:49 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:17 18 October 2017

James Laughlin was fined for parking in a disabled parking bay while getting sick. Picture: ANDREW STONE

James Laughlin was fined for parking in a disabled parking bay while getting sick. Picture: ANDREW STONE

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A Norwich man believes he has been unfairly fined for parking his car in a disabled bay for just four minutes while he was being sick.

The time stamp on the fine showing he was only in the bay for four minutes. Picture: ANDREW STONE The time stamp on the fine showing he was only in the bay for four minutes. Picture: ANDREW STONE

James Laughlin said he was not feeling well while driving into the car park at St Augustine’s Gate in Norwich on the afternoon of August 28.

He said: “I was planning on getting a pizza for dinner but as I was pulling into the car park I started feeling dizzy and nauseous.

“In the interests of safety I quickly pulled into the nearest space, got out the car and walked over to some bushes about 10 metres away and vomited.”

He said he immediately returned to the vehicle and left.

“I didn’t give the matter another thought so you can imagine my surprise when I received a £100 fine.

“It transpired that the space I had parked in was a disabled bay.

“Despite having only parked there for four minutes, I received a fine.”

Mr Laughlin said the camera monitoring the car park showed he had pulled into the parking spot at 4.35pm and left at 4.39pm.

“You can see I did not have anything in my hands when I returned to the vehicle.

“While I recognise the company’s right to send the fine as I parked in a space without a blue badge, I appealed the fine on the grounds that common sense and humanity should prevail in this instance.

“I was there for just four minutes while getting sick.”

He said his appeal had been turned down on the basis that the fine was legitimately applied.

“They did re-instate the early payment period or said if I wanted to take the matter further I could go to the ombudsman.”

In an e-mailed response to questions, National Parking Enforcement director Julie Lecaille said: “Unfortunately, with other bays available within the car park, Mr Laughlin could have parked in a regular bay, nearer to the bushes, if this was his purpose for parking.

“We do not accept that Mr Laughlin could not park in a regular parking bay.

“As he does not have a blue badge, we concur that the parking charge was correctly issued.”

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