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That's a fine way to treat a charitable act

PUBLISHED: 12:01 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:56 07 September 2010

A GOOD Samaritan has slammed Camden Council for being uncharitable after he was given a parking fine outside a children's charity shop. Peter North, 70, from Brecknock Road, Kentish Town, was slapped with a ticket after he stopped

Ben McPartland

A GOOD Samaritan has slammed Camden Council for being uncharitable after he was given a parking fine outside a children's charity shop.

Peter North, 70, from Brecknock Road, Kentish Town, was slapped with a ticket after he stopped for a couple of minutes to donate items to the Hornsey Trust.

The emphysema sufferer made a special journey to the shop on Fortess Road but was stung with a demand for £60 after being caught on camera, stopping on double yellow lines.

"This sort of thing has got to end and I will fight this case for what it is - a blatant attempt to pay for rateable services by fining motorists in the expectation that most will pay, rather than waste time fighting," he said.

"I am afraid that does not work in this case. I will take it to The Hague if necessary."

On the evening of the offence - Sunday February 3 - Mr North's daughter drove up from south London especially to take her father to the shop so he could drop off the donations.

The manager of the Hornsey Trust shop, which raises money to help children with cerebral palsy, agreed to open up just for Mr North. "We had been doing the house up and we ended up having so much stuff to give away. There was no way we could have got there without taking it in the car. We had the boot and the back seats completely full," said Mr North.

He said the "no parking" sign had been sprayed out with black paint and since the offence it has been replaced by a "no loading at any time" notice.

He said: "As soon as we got there we got rid of the stuff and then drove off straight away. I mean that is not parking, is it?"

Mr North's appeal against the penalty was rejected and his fine was originally doubled to £120 because the council sent their response letter to the wrong address. This meant he had not paid within the 14-day time limit.

The parking department later admitted its error and cut the fine back to £60.

A council spokeswoman said the sign was not a new one. She said: "After reviewing the CCTV footage, the contravention is very clear. The vehicle is parked on double yellow lines right next to a sign which states 'no loading at any time'.

"The driver challenged the penalty charge notice and we responded by stating that the notice would still be enforced. The address on our response letter contained a slight error and the driver claimed he never received it. The council has therefore re-sent this to the correct address and a discount was offered.

"Camden is one of London's busiest inner city boroughs and deals with a lot more traffic than other boroughs. We enforce parking rules to make the borough's roads safer for everyone who uses them, to protect scarce parking spaces for those who have a right to park there and to reduce congestion and keep traffic flowing."

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk

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