A Wellingborough widow sent a demand by a debt recovery service after a car park fine escalated and left her too scared to leave her home, has had the fine overturned.
Rose Sharman, 70, had been visiting Morrisons in Oxford Street and popped into town when she fell over in Market Street, leaving her with a serious head injury.
Her car remained in the Euro Car Parks-managed lot after she was blue-lighted to hospital – three months later she received a penalty notice for £85 that increased to £155.
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After featuring in the Northants Telegraph, a kind-hearted reader and local councillor stepped in to help Rose with the fine being revoked yesterday.
Rose said: “I really didn’t think it would happen. I have been waiting for someone to knock on my door. I have been living in fear. I’ve been scared to go out in case while I was out they came. They won’t go away and you have to hand over money.”
Euro Car Parks, who manage Morrisons car park, had refused Rose’s appeal saying “any medical problems you were experiencing at site on the above date were not reported so no provision could be made, therefore parking charge notice was issued correctly and remains payable”.
Medical paperwork to back Rose’s appeal via POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals) service had been difficult to obtain and letters providing evidence from A&E to her GP took months.
Rose’s family couldn’t contact Euro Car Parks but Cllr Matt Binley swung into action, battling on the pensioner’s behalf.
He said: “I contacted Morrisons, they took the details and in the meanwhile I contacted Euro Car Parks. I sent them an email and within a couple of hours they said it was all sorted.
"The family is really grateful as you can imagine.
"I’m pleased to be honest, but it’s disappointing that a councillor has to get involved – sometimes a title carries more weight. Euro Car Parks had all the information, for them that should have been enough to say there were extenuating circumstances.”
An email from Euro Car Parks to Cllr Binley said: “This matter has been looked into and is now resolved.”
Asking what they meant by ‘resolved’ he was told that the penalty notice had been ‘overturned’.
Helping her gran with the appeal process and publicising her gran’s plight has been Rose’s granddaughter Amy Garrett.
Amy said: “We have been in tears and stressed out. I have had to fight a long time for this.
"I’m happy and we’re really thankful. I rang my nan and she cried a bit on the phone. It’s a huge relief for us all.”
Rose thanked Cllr Binley for his help, and has also vowed to not use the car park in the future, planning to shop elsewhere.
She said: "I’d like to thank Cllr Binley for everything – he’s an angel.
“Even if they said you can have a shopping trolley full of food, I won’t go there. I’ll be shopping at Tesco from now on.