Family's fury at £200 parking fines after girl was injured in fall
An aunt and mum have been left furious after they have been left to pay fines totalling £200 after a medical emergency meant they ran over their car park ticket time.
Kate Jacobs and her family had been enjoying a walk along the seafront in South Shields ahead of the start if the second lockdown when her five-year-old niece took a fall from her scooter, causing her front teeth to burst a hole in her lip and left her bleeding.
As they spent time cleaning her up, calmed her down and made contact with an emergency dentist, they did not realise their parking tickets had expired, Kate’s by 19 minutes and her sister’s by 40.
They have appealed to Future Parking Ltd, which manages the car park between Platform 33 and the grassed area near Minchella & Co on Sea Road and asked them to cancel the charges due to the fact they needed to help the youngster.
But they have both been told they must pay up, with a charge of £100 reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.
They have offered to pay for the extra time, but the company has said the penalties remain.
Kate, 36, who lives in Wardley and is a mental health support worker based in a school, said the company had showed a lack of understanding following her niece's ordeal and slammed it for looking to “financially gain from the misfortune of others”.
Her niece has been left a wound to her face and her front teeth are turning black, with the full consequences of her fall on her dental health still uncertain.
Kate, who was with daughter Isla, eight, on the day of the incident on Thursday, November 5, said: “We are just disappointed.
"I like to think the best of people and hope they do the same.
"We didn’t expect this to happen and we didn’t even realise at the time because of what had happened.
"Where is their empathy about the situation?
"We use that car park all the time and always pay, this is the first time it’s ever happened.”
Future Parking Ltd did not respond when contacted by the Gazette and has told the women they can take their appeal to the Parking on Private Land Appeals (Popla) if they wish.