Sacked Westminster traffic warden’s celebrity encounters with Madonna and Kate Moss
A former Westminster parking warden who was sacked after a picture of him appeared in a national paper has written a book about his experiences.
Darrell Lee Powell, 41, was fired from his job in 2007 when the photo was published showing him wearing an offensive home-made T-shirt while at work.
The story, which was published under the headline “The traffic warden whose T-shirt insults his victims”, resulted in his sacking a day later.
Now, four years on, Mr Powell says he is still upset about the incident but doesn’t regret wearing the T-shirt.
He said: “I saw some of the paparazzi outside BBC Broadcasting House and said ‘do you want to see something funny?’
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“I trusted them at the time because I had got to know them. I used to look after them and not give them tickets if I didn’t have to.
“One of them took a picture and I said he could only have it for private use and not to put it in a paper.
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“The next day I went into work and got called into my supervisor. I told them I didn’t do it to take the p**s and it was meant as a private photo.
“I don’t regret showing them because it shows that I have a sense of humour.
“I did care about giving tickets out – I cared more than anyone else so the T-shirt was a parody of myself.”
As well as covering his dismissal, Warden Stories 5102 reveals the lengths some parking wardens go to give out tickets.
Mr Powell says wardens would have to hit daily targets with some changing the times on their cameras to invent parking offences.
The book also offers an insight into his encounters with numerous celebrities during his two-year stint working on the streets of Marylebone including Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Rihanna and Kate Moss.
Despite the controversial end to his warden career, he says the main point of the book is to show the friendly side of a disliked profession.
“I wanted to show everyone that they had a good parking warden in their ranks,” he said.
“Being a warden isn’t about giving tickets, it’s about serving local businesses and residents and the public.”
* Mr Powell is currently looking for a publisher but the book is available from self-publishing website www.lulu.com.