New father charged £100 for three minutes of parking nearly two years ago
PUBLISHED: 15:09 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 27 November 2019
Lewis Taylor/Denise Bradley
A new father is facing a £100 charge and a court appearance days before his son's first Christmas - for spending three minutes in a car park almost two years ago.
On March 15, last year, carpenter Lewis Taylor spent three minutes parked in the car park of the Maid's Head hotel on Tombland in Norwich.
The stay was just long enough for him to get out of his car, read signs detailing the car park's conditions and leave, after learning he was not permitted to park there.
However, a few weeks later he received a letter from National Parking Enforcement Ltd, the company responsible for the car park informing him he was being hit with a £100 fine.
Mr Taylor, 28 and of Sprowston, originally ignored the charge and heard nothing more of it.
However, after NPE launched legal proceedings against him he is now facing a court date on December 20, less than a week before he celebrates Christmas for the first time with his 10-month-old son Finley and new wife Nikki.
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Mr Taylor said: "When I received the letter telling me I had been charged I honestly couldn't believe it. However, I thought they would just go away after a while.
"To start with, I thought it was the car park for the Glasshouse pub but when I got out and read the signs I decided it wasn't worth the risk, so went elsewhere."
After speaking to family about it, Mr Taylor decided to ignore the charge, knowing that it was not a legally binding fine that would be issued by a local authority. However, the controversial company is now taking legal action against him.
He said: "It's just ludicrous - £100 for three minutes parking. It is really taking the mick.
"I just never thought it would go this. I'm the main provider for our family so this really is the last thing I want or need."
While the car park belongs to the hotel, it is managed by NPE - the same company which recently pursued two motorists for turning around in Sentinel House on Surrey Street in Norwich.
An NPE spokesman said: "The mistake the driver made was to ignore the charge. We do not feel that this is newsworthy."