Fri, 01 Jan 2021
NEWBURY MP Laura Farris has intervened in the case of a ‘Good Samaritan’ fined for parking while trying to save a dying man.
Last week’s Newbury Weekly News story has caused nationwide outrage, with several national newspapers picking up and running our article.
Many local people have contacted the NWN expressing their disgust at the parking company and offering to pay the penalty parking charge.
It was incurred by mother-of-two Gemma Hutt after she raced to the aid of a stricken man to give him cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until medical help arrived.
The tragic incident meant Mrs Hutt, who lives in Bowling Green Road, Thatcham, stayed 14 minutes longer in the West Street Car Park in Newbury than her parking ticket allowed and she received a £100 penalty charge from Euro Car Parks.
She appealed, offering proof of what had happened – but her appeal was rejected.
Mrs Hutt, 38, said: “I was told that the gentleman had passed away and I was very upset over this.
“I would have thought, considering the circumstances, that they would have waived the fine – £100 is a lot of money to me, especially at this time of year.
“I have two young children that expect a lot from Father Christmas.”
Euro Car Parks rejected her appeal.
Mrs Farris said she, too, had received lots of correspondence from outraged constituents.
She said: “I have, of course, intervened on her behalf with the company.
“It’s absurd that Euro Car Parks should refuse her appeal, particularly because I understand the whole incident was captured on CCTV.
“I’ve written to Barry Tucker, the head of the company, and I will update Mrs Hutt and your readers as soon as I receive a reply.
“Rejecting her appeal seems to be a case of ‘computer says no’ to the nth degree.
“The morally right thing to do would be to recognise the circumstances in which the charge was incurred and to waive it.”
Mrs Hutt said: “I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with the kindness people have shown.”
She said her father-in-law, 73-year-old Rob Hutt from Thatcham had been trying to take care of the matter for her before he died suddenly on December 18.
Mrs Hutt said that, if she is reimbursed by the company, she would invite well wishers to consider a small donation instead to Cancer Research or to the British Heart Foundation in his memory, and that she will send anything she has received personally to those same charities.