Redbridge Council U-turns on fine for grandmother for paying parking fine late... because she was on holiday

Harmander Singh paid his wife's initial parking fine

Harmander Singh paid his wife's initial parking fine - Credit: Archant

Redbridge Council has backtracked on fining an Ilford grandmother for late payment of a parking penalty, despite previously refusing to accept her passport as evidence she was on holiday.

Mukhtiar Kaur, of Wellesley Road, who is in her 50s, was fined £55 for stopping in York Road, Ilford, on February 15 even though she said she never left her car and only stopped for “three minutes”.

The penalty notice was sent to her home on February 20, but because she was visiting her mother in India for four weeks, it went unopened until March 26.

Her husband, magistrate Harmander Singh, 53, paid the fine but his wife was then told she had until May 15 to pay another £62 because the initial payment was late.

Mrs Kaur said: “In three minutes, they took my picture. It’s not right.

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“If I’d parked that’s different, but I was sat in the car.”

The couple were told by the council they should provide a boarding pass or flight itinerary, which Mrs Kaur no longer had.

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But after Mr Singh raised the issue with the Recorder and Cllr Shoaib Patel, the cabinet member for transportation, the council changed its mind.

Cllr Patel said: “A stamp is proof enough to suggest that a person did arrive in a country – that’s my view on the matter [but] I don’t know all the ins and outs.”

And a council spokesman said: “After further consideration of the evidence provided, it has been agreed to cancel the additional charges on this occasion.”

Mr Singh, who trained Ilford’s 102-year-old marathon runner Fauja Singh, said he was “grateful for them being brave enough to reconsider”.

He added: “Common sense prevails. I’d be happier if they looked at the full evidence and saw she wasn’t parked anywhere.”

Mrs Kaur stopped her car in the road while waiting for a parking space, Mr Singh explained, but then drove on when she could not get one.

He paid the initial fine because he didn’t want his wife caught up in a “holy mess”.

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