Grandfather slapped with �70 parking fine when nature called

IPSWICH: A businessman was going potty today after a brief detour to help his granddaughter spend a penny ended with him being handed a �70 parking fine.

Michael Singer left his car in Fonnereau Road for “15 minutes” while he dashed to find a public toilet for five-year-old Sophie.

He returned to find he had received a penalty notice because he was parked in a permit area.

The 61-year-old is now focusing his appeal on the length of time the law permits someone to answer the call of nature while illegally parked.

Mr Singer, the director of an interior decoration firm in Essex, believes he is allowed 20 minutes.

However, Ipswich Borough Council claims the limit is five.

A parking officer said in a letter to Mr Singer: “The law does not permit the driver to visit the toilet for an extended time period.

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“Our officer observed your vehicle for the required observation period for this contravention of five minutes.”

Furious Mr Singer hit back, saying: “My granddaughter was in urgent need of the toilet. The area is not one I usually frequent so I stopped near Christchurch Park to ask someone where the nearest public convenience was.

“This was inside the park, so I had no alternative but to leave my vehicle.

“I am always very aware of parking restrictions, but on this occasion I was feeling fraught and concerned for the timescale involved, so I stopped incorrectly.

“I am aware that 20 minutes is given for the call of nature.”

Mr Singer was on a day trip to Ipswich with Sophie on July 28 when he inadvertently stopped in the most notorious parking fine hotspot in the town.

Last month, The Evening Star revealed how traffic wardens raked in at least �56,820 in the last year after dishing out 1,894 tickets in Fonnereau Road.

Mr Singer said: “Local authorities just want to cash in. They are not listening to a human being – they are just interested in the revenue.

“I am a human being who was helping to carry out a human function. I just want what a human being wants – justice.”

Mr Singer still has until Wednesday to pay the reduced fine of �35, but he said he is determined to take the case all the way.

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council declined to comment.

n Have you been caught short and came a cropper with the law? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.