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Council offer ultimatum to bereaved man
Barnet Council has offered a final ultimatum to a bereaved man who received two parking tickets while his father was dying.
Marvin Sullivan, of Potters Bar, left his van on Quinta Drive, Barnet, while he rushed to the bedside of his 55-year-old father who was having a heart attack in July 2011.
Mr Sullivan is happy to admit that he left his van parked illegally for more than 24 hours.
However, he assumed that when he explained the circumstances to Barnet Council his fine would be waived.
He said: “I had left my van parked illegally but it was the last thing on my mind.
“Losing a parent is one of the worst things that can happen to you and I assumed that the council would waive the tickets if I wrote to them.”
However, rather than cancelling the tickets, the council insisted that Mr Sullivan pay the £220 fine.
That is despite the fact that the original tickets were only £65 each, making a total £130.
He was told that to appeal he would have to send a copy of his father’s death certificate to the council to prove the validity of his story.
However, today Mr Sullivan, a courier, received another call from the council saying that they would make a final offer of a £110 fine.
They have given him 14 days to pay this.
Mr Sullivan said: “Can you believe what they are putting me through, it is disgusting.
“At the end of the day it was an emergency.
“In other circumstances I would happily pay up but money is tight and I have a little family to support.
“They are fining me for losing my father.”
In a statement Barnet Council said: "Mr Sullivan appealed against his parking tickets in September 2011.
"The appeals were made on the grounds he did not have sufficient time to pay at the discounted rate. There was no mention of a family bereavement at that stage nor was there any evidence to support this claim and the fines were upheld.
"Mr Sullivan lodged an appeal with the Parking And Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) - the Independent Adjudicator on 17 November 2011.
"After considering all the evidence the adjudicator upheld the council's decision and asked Mr Sullivan to pay both his parking tickets in full within 28 days.
"Mr Sullivan subsequently contacted the council to complain about the adjudicator's decision and was advised he needed to go through PATAS' own review process.
"Although the adjudicator's decision is binding, given the sad circumstances of Mr Sulivan's case the council agreed to reduce his fines to the discounted rate of £55 each, as a gesture of goodwill.
"Mr Sullivan agreed and hopefully the matter has now been resolved."