Man fined by traffic warden while being treated for urgent heart condition in hospital


Paul Cronin was rushed to A&E at Warwick Hospital after he visited his GP surgery for a check-up during which it was discovered his heart rate had sky-rocketed to 162 beats per minute

A man rushed from his GP to hospital for an urgent heart procedure is stunned after being fined by a traffic warden despite a note being left on his car by medical staff.

Paul Cronin was rushed to A&E after he visited his GP surgery for a check-up, during which it was discovered his heart rate had sky-rocketed to 162 beats per minute.

An ambulance was called and Paul was whisked away to Warwick Hospital, leaving his car behind in a parking bay near Sherbourne Medical Centre in Leamington Spa, Warks.

As Paul had only paid for two hours of parking, staff at the medical centre left a note of his windscreen, to explain the medical emergency to any parking wardens.

However, the 60-year-old, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was stunned upon later finding out from a friend that he had been slapped with a fine anyway.

Paul, of Cubbington, Warks., has now spoken of his fury that he could be ticketed while undergoing treatment, even though a note was left to explain his plight.

He described the situation as “unbelievable”.

“The situation had been explained to the traffic warden through the sign on the car and staff had come out to talk to them,” he said.

“But they still put the ticket on the car anyway.

“From my point of view, sat in A&E and being told I have heart issues and then told you have a parking ticket was shocking.

“A humane element was missing in all this. I am going to appeal.”

Paul had to undergo an atrial flutter ablation procedure – a procedure to create scar tissue within an upper chamber of the heart to stop a fluttering heartbeat.

After the procedure was completed, he was kept in hospital for a further 11 days to recover.

Following the incident last month, Warwickshire County Council has claimed the note had “no validity” and “could have been placed there by anybody.”

As a result, Paul has been forced to pay the £25 fine, which would have risen to £50 had it not been paid within 14 days.

A council spokeswoman said a civil enforcement officer would issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) where a vehicle is observed to be “parked in contravention of parking restrictions”.

“While they will record the presence of any notes, they will not be taken into account when issuing a PCN,” she said.

“This is because a note has no validity, could have been left by anyone, or may indeed be false. It is also to avoid any allegations of favouritism if one vehicle in contravention receives a PCN and another does not.

“The appeals process is in place to allow the driver (or Registered Keeper of the vehicle, depending on the stage of the PCN) to give such reasons in mitigation that they believe should be grounds to cancel the PCN.”

The spokeswoman said the staff assessing appeals were fully trained in the legal process and had complete separation from the CEO who issued the notice.

“They will take into account any evidence provided to support the appeal made, in making their decision,” she added.