How Derbyshire driver overturned £350 parking fine in two-year legal battle

editorial image

The owner of a Derbyshire business has won his two-year battle with the council that fined him £350 over a free parking ticket.

Erewash Borough Council initially fined Mark Morgan-Gunn when he parked his company van in the Club Row car park off Bath Street, Ilkeston.

READ MORE: Escaped cow causes delays on M1

He then obtained a free ticket from a working ticket machine.

At the time, Mr Morgan-Gunn argued that strong winds blew it from his dashboard where he had originally displayed it correctly.

Now, a civil court has overturned the fine and dismissed the council’s demand for payment almost two years after the ticket was obtained.

Mr Morgan-Gunn, who runs Food 2 U and Hemp HQ in Ilkeston, said: “I urge everyone to challenge these in these situations as those in power will certainly put pressure on the general public and most pay through a fear of reprimand.

“I simply challenged the parking ticket at every stage until I was referred to a county court judge for an independent review to appeal my out of time extension that allows me a right of appeal.

“Don’t get me wrong, they don’t make the process easy by any means.

“Appeal forms were rejected twice, firstly as illegible due to a W looking too much like an M - and secondly for not putting ‘I wish to appeal before a county judge’.”

Mr Morgan-Gunn said that the court judge suggested the council should have “used more common sense” in the case.

And the business owner had words for the council officer who dealt with his case: “I’ve no doubt that the council officer will shift the blame elsewhere. Had he accepted my appeal and supporting evidence in the first instance none of this would have needed to get that far.

“He was incredibly difficult to deal with, even down to not sending me a copy of the decision to revoke the penalty but sending one to the court, meaning I turned up to defend myself without need.

“The judge put it all down to a lack of transparent communications between departments.”

In response to Mr Morgan-Gunn’s criticism, Scott Cartledge, neighbourhood warden manager at Erewash Borough Council, said: “Mr Morgan appealed to Nottingham County Court against the Penalty Charge Notice which had been issued for failure to display a valid parking ticket.

“Having considered the evidence and having reviewed the background facts the council decided to cancel the Penalty Charge Notice which it duly did to close the matter.”