An over-zealous traffic warden slapped a parking ticket on a car – without realising that the driver lay DEAD inside the vehicle, it emerged today.
The grey Nissan Qashqai was issued with a fine for overstaying the limit at a pay-and-display car park close to the River Cam in central Cambridge.
But after issuing a ticket the Cambridgeshire County Council warden noticed that the vehicle’s owner was slumped on the back seat.
Police were called to the scene at 11.45am on Wednesday and discovered the body of a man, who was in his 50s, inside the vehicle.
They erected an evidence tent at the scene while forensics officers examined the car and the body was removed.
Phillip Hammer, the Cambridgeshire County Council parking manager, revealed that the warden who found the man was ”disturbed” by what had happened.
He said: ”What you have to do is look in the car to see if there is a ticket displayed.
”He didn’t see anyone in there at first and then he realised there was someone slumped in the back seat. He is very disturbed by what happened.”
Another traffic warden patrolling near the scene, who refused to give his name, confirmed that the attendant involved was shocked at his discovery.
He said: ”I heard the call come in on the radio. He is really shaken up by it.
”The thing is we are not allowed to wake people up in their cars if they are asleep in case we give them a heart attack.”
Police confirmed today that the death is not being treated as suspicious.
It is believed the man had been Christmas shopping in the city centre and could have suffered a heart attack after returning to his vehicle.
Eyewitness Bob Borges, who was parked nearby, was visiting the city on a Christmas shopping trip from his home in Essex.
He said: ”We had seen the man in the car but just thought he was having a kip.
”When we came back to our car the police were everywhere and they’d put up a tent around the car. That’s when we knew it was serious. It’s very sad. I feel for his family.”
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire constabulary said: ”We were called to reports of a body being discovered in a vehicle in a car park in Chesterton Road, Cambridge, at 11.45am.
”Police attended the scene and investigations were carried out. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”
The deceased man has not yet been named.