A mother-of-three has won her battle against a parking company in court after she proved she had bought a ticket but was still fined.
Blessing Burgess, from Stockport, received a fine after parking in the town centre with her family in January last year to eat at Nando’s.
She appealed the fine with her ticket, but the company didn’t back down as her husband Daniel had entered the registration for their other car.
Excel, the company managing the car park, offered to reduce the fee to £10, but Mrs Burgess refused to give up, believing the firm to be profiteering as they hadn’t lost any money.
She told the Manchester Evening News: ‘They kept sending us horrible letters and we got threatening messages from a debt collection agency too.
‘It was hard not to be intimidated by the letters – I really felt like they were trying to scare me.
‘We even did mediation, but they were talking as though if it came to court I would definitely lose, like I didn’t stand a chance.’
Mrs Burgess ended up representing herself at Stockport Magistrates Court, where she won her case.
The 31-year-old said: ‘I am so pleased the judge could see the reality of what was taking place. In the end of the day, they picked on the wrong lady.’
Posting on her Facebook page when she first received the fine, Mrs Burgess explained: ‘My husband went into auto-pilot and entered the registration number for the car he drives most days. We were unaware this had even taken place until a week or so later when we received a parking charge notice in the post, demanding £60.
‘I was frantically worrying and searching for the ticket as I was sure that I had bought one as we always do wherever we park. I went out to the family car and thankfully found the ticket.
‘After looking at the ticket and the letter I had received I realised what had happened. At that moment I felt relief that I had paid and that once I spoke to the company the charge would be dropped.’
She explained she had sent the ticket as evidence to the company, and they had confirmed with CCTV stills that they had entered the car park at the corresponding times.
The ticket they purchased was even valid for a further 90 minutes after they left.
She said: ‘All of this evidence I provided shows that despite human error we acted in good faith by buying a ticket and did not defraud the company or the break the law as we are law abiding citizens and recognise that they are running a business.’
A spokesman for Excel told the Manchester paper it was ‘disappointed’ and would be considering its options.
The spokesman added: ‘Motorists are required to enter their full Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) when purchasing a ticket. Ms Burgess entered a totally different VRM, thus breaching the clear terms and conditions.
‘We are currently considering our position in relation to the judge’s decision and will refrain from any further comment at this stage while the matter is ongoing.’