Dental treatment ends with fine

PUBLISHED: 13:24 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:22 10 May 2010

VISITING the dentist became a costly procedure for a 62-year-old man last Wednesday when he was fined for parking in White Street car park. Eric Harkin, from Wetherfield in Stansted Mountfitchet, parked at the car park in Dunmow Town centre for dental su

VISITING the dentist became a costly procedure for a 62-year-old man last Wednesday when he was fined for parking in White Street car park.

Eric Harkin, from Wetherfield in Stansted Mountfitchet, parked at the car park in Dunmow Town centre for dental surgery to a loose tooth, which was only due to take around 30 minutes to complete.

However, after settling down in the dentist's chair, half way through he was told extra work was required and, in fact he needed a crown.

This meant that his car parking ticket, which had provided an hour's parking, ran out. He said: "The extra work meant I ran over the ticket time by about 30 minutes, and so I found myself with a ticket. I don't see what I could have done to prevent it."

After explaining his plight to the Uttlesford District Council parking department, Mr Harkin was told politely that he would still have to pay his £25 fine.

"It is completely out of order," he said. "It is very difficult to take a break from treatment to put another ticket on your car, as time is hard to judge when you are laying on your back with your mouth open."

Mr Harkin has paid his fine to avoid getting any further costs placed on him, but is appealing to the council to give his money back.

The officer who spoke to Mr Harkin about his case, Mr J Springham, said that car parking staff could not speak about individual cases and refused to make any comment.

However, a spokesman for the council did issue a statement saying: "Mr Harkin has the right to a second appeal to the council. If that appeal is rejected, he can then appeal to the independent adjudicator. Mr Harkin has been advised of this process."

What do you think? Contact us at nick.thompson@archant.co.uk or write to us at Editor, Dunmow Broadcast, 2 Angel Lane, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1AQ.

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