A Shropshire woman, who received a parking ticket after she claimed that she did not see the signs at a private car park, was pictured on CCTV walking right past them, a county court was told.
Sally Rhodes-Bangham, from Ludlow, said she had not seen the signs in the Telford car park and she did not realise what the charge was when she later discovered it stuck to her car window, the court in Ludlow heard.
But Deputy District Judge Julia Holden yesterday found in favour of the claimant, Combined Parking Solutions (CPS), and ordered Mrs Rhodes-Bangham to pay the parking charge of £135 plus costs of £130.
Judge Holden said: “I entirely accept that you did not realise it was a parking ticket but I think any member of the public receiving that would look at that and know what it is. It looks like a parking ticket to me.”
Mike Perkins, for CPS, which enforces rules that state the Central Park Coffee House car park in Hollinswood Road, is for customers only, said CCTV footage showed Mrs Rhodes-Bangham walking within a metre of the signs.
Mrs Rhodes-Bangham said she did not dispute the fact that she parked there but added she was stressed because she was going to have an interview at a recruitment agency.
“It was raining really heavily. I had lost my job after 13 years. It was the only place I could find to park. I got out of my car. I had my umbrella up so I did not see the signs,” she said.
Mr Perkins said the firm had written to her twice before taking further action after she failed to respond.But Mrs Rhodes-Bangham claimed: “I did not know it was a parking fine.”
She said she put it with her papers and did not really look at it until she received the first CPS letter.
The court heard she later noticed that one of the digits for her car registration was wrong and after researching the matter on the internet claimed that would make the charge invalid.
Mrs Rhodes-Bangham’s husband, Roger, said after the hearing: “It was an innocent mistake.”
Also following the case, Mr Perkins said he hoped that it would clear up confusion.
He said: “People go on these websites that say if you ignore private parking firms then they will go away and it simply is not the case.”