A VALE resident has been stung with a parking fine after being one second over his allowed time while acting as a Good Samaritan at Llandough Hospital.

Barry Island father-to-be, Kevin Williams gained the £70 penalty after ParkingEye clocked him leaving a parking zone one second after the 20-minute time frame Mr Williams believed he had available to him.

At the time he was assisting a lady who was in hospital with mental health problems, and says he is angry that his appeal against the fine has been rejected.

The 32-year-old explained that on August 5 had been driving out of the hospital when he saw an elderly lady struggling to walk in the grounds.

Mr Williams offered her a lift when she explained that she was trying to get to Tesco.

Mr Williams said: “She was in an unfortunate state. There was food all over her clothes and she could barely talk.

“After taking her to Tesco I took her back to the main entrance of Llandough Hospital. Due to her condition, I had to park in a 20-minute max stay area.

“Once she exited my vehicle, she insisted of sitting down on a bench to smoke."

Concerned that she was a vulnerable person Mr Williams was reluctant to leave her alone, waiting while she smoked and then asking a nurse for help when he could.

He said: "A few weeks later, I received a fine from ParkingEye stating I was in the 20-minute max area for a total of 20 minutes and one second.

“I appreciate it’s all generated from camera and computers so I put an appeal in and explained what happened.

“I was surprised to find that they rejected my appeal.

“I went to POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals).

“They rejected my appeal too and even wrote, 'by the defendant’s own admission, he stayed in the area.'

“Of course, I admitted to it. I was telling you what happened.”

“What are human beings supposed to do in these situations?

“Can’t people just use common sense and simply understand I was trying to help someone? I only over-stayed for one second.”

Mr Williams, who is saving for a mortgage and didn’t want to risk escalating costs, paid the fine.

“The frustrating thing is the complete lack of empathy,” he added.

A ParkingEye spokeswoman said: “Our clients’ parking, in areas such as hospitals, needs to be monitored to ensure that patients can effectively access services. We encourage people who have received a parking charge to appeal if they think there are mitigating circumstances.

“If a driver disagrees with our decision, they have the option to appeal to the independent appeals service (POPLA). In this case the driver did appeal to POPLA, who upheld our original decision.”

A POPLA spokeswoman said: "This is an unfortunate circumstance, and it can be frustrating when you receive a parking charge notice that you feel is unfair.

"While POPLA is unable to allow an appeal based purely on mitigating circumstances, we are able to refer the circumstances back to the operator to ask it to consider the information/evidence in order to decide if it wishes to continue pursuing the motorist for the parking charge. In some instances, the operators will cancel the charge after seeing the mitigating circumstances while in others, the operator may feel the evidence is not sufficient or there is another factor which means it wishes to continue pursuing the parking charge.

"If it is the latter, the appeal will be passed back to POPLA and we will need to make a determination as to whether the parking charge is valid based on the other aspects of the appeal.”