A bladder cancer survivor had to pull over during a ‘medical emergency’ that saw his catheter bag erupt – and was slapped with a £200 parking fine.
John McCartney was caught short when a plastic valve fastened to his abdomen fell off and more than a litre of urine spilled out.
The cancer survivor, 70, had to pull over to reattach it – so pulled up in a car park and used a nearby toilet for 15 minutes.
When he returned, he discovered he had been with a £60 fine which would increase to £100 if he did not pay up within two weeks.
The retired carpenter from Lancing, West Sussex, desperately tried to appeal the fine, stating that he ‘had suffered a medical emergency’.
John then received two letters from debt collectors ZZPS Ltd stating he owed more than £200 and threatened to involve solicitors.
He said: “To me it was a medical emergency, I have to replace it in certain situations – so what else was I supposed to do.
“I had to change the flange tube and replace it with a new one, what else was I to do, try to do it in the middle of the road.”
“There is no alternative; your kidneys continue to produce urine and it is squirting out, it was the biggest leak I have ever had.”
According to One Parking Solutions, which owns the parking spaces in Worthing, West Sussex, John got there at 2.49 pm and issued the ticket at 2.54 pm.
John said in hindsight, he wished he had spoken to the attendant after he got in his car – but he was too preoccupied with his condition.
He said: “I just think it is absolutely ridiculous, someone should have had the sense to see that I was in a bit of a predicament.
“I was pretty low on options – have some consideration and use your IQ; people have accidents.”
John appealed the decision on the grounds it was a medical emergency – but POPLA, Parking on Private Land Appeals, refused it because he did not display a valid permit.
He received a refusal letter on August 23 that ‘acknowledged the appellant’s version of events in January’ but ignored John’s plea.
A spokeswoman said: “Even if a motorist presents circumstances setting out reasons why they did not keep to the parking conditions, POPLA cannot allow an appeal if a contract was formed and the motorist did not keep to the parking conditions.
“As the appellant parked at the site and failed to display a valid permit, he has failed to comply with its terms and conditions.”
John had his bladder removed in 2012 after being diagnosed with bladder cancer, but he has to wear his catheter bag 24 hours a day.
He added: “It is part of my body now; my surgeon told me that it was either a bag or a box – the appeal process is draconian.
“I told them right from the start that I would be prepared to go court, stand up in front of someone sensible and show them what a flange looks like and how it can leak.”