Carer who helped unresponsive Stevenage man slapped with £100 parking charge
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
A carer who forgot to input his car details while rushing into a retirement complex to help an unresponsive man has been slapped with a £100 parking charge.
Eugene Nebechi received an urgent message from his employer Care By Us Ltd to check on the man in distress – who had fallen in his flat at Pinetree Court, in Stevenage town centre – and call an ambulance.
In his rush to help, Eugene parked his car and headed in, forgetting to enter his licence plate number at the entrance. The man was taken to hospital and has made a full recovery, in part thanks to Eugene’s fast response.
But on February 2, almost a month after the incident on January 10, Eugene received a parking charge notice from Civil Enforcement Ltd – instructing him to pay £100 as he had kept his company car there for eight minutes longer than the allowed 20 minutes. Appeals against the charge from both Care By Us Ltd and Eugene personally have been rejected, much to his incredulity.
He said: “I didn’t go there to just park my car, I went there for a purpose. I made an appeal with strong proof to POPLA, which handles the appeals, and they refused it. It seems to me like a money-making scheme.”
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Citizens Advice Stevenage have written in support of Eugene, calling the rejection of his appeal “extremely harsh”.
In the letter, seen by the Comet, Citizens Advice said: “Given the fact that he was dealing with a medical and life-threatening emergency, issuing him a ticket and then – knowing the facts – not granting his appeal seems extremely harsh.
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“Mr Nebechi visits Pinetree weekly on a very regular basis and on every occasion he enters the correct parking details.
“We would urge that the case be reviewed to ensure that all of the information provided was in fact taken into account.”
But POPLA said it “does not have a remit to allow an appeal based on mitigating circumstances”.
A spokesman said: “We understand that in circumstances where a motorist has parked and acted swiftly to assist someone in need, like Mr Nebechi, the receipt of a parking charge feels unfair.
“Where a parking charge has been issued correctly but the parking operator recognises an unfairness, it might decide to cancel the parking charge. In support of this, where POPLA sees that parking operators have not considered mitigating circumstances, we refer cases back to parking operators, to ask if they are willing to cancel parking charges. However, the choice of whether to cancel the parking charge ultimately remains with the parking operator.”
The Comet was unsuccessful in attempts to contact Civil Enforcement Ltd, of Liverpool, by phone and email.