Harpenden cancer victim's battle with St Albans Council

PUBLISHED: 18:20 28 September 2013

Julian Davis with his car and blue badge parking permit

Julian Davis with his car and blue badge parking permit

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A Harpenden man with just months to live has accused a council official of being a "callous jobsworth" after he was fined for parking in a disabled space despite having a Blue Badge.

Julian Davis suffers from prostate, pancreatic and bone cancer, and has trouble walking.

While parked briefly at the Sainsbury’s car park in Harpenden he forgot to display his Blue Badge because of a “small lapse of memory”.

Upon returning to his vehicle, Julian found a parking warden photographing his car.

Julian said: “I told him I had my badge in the glove compartment, and he replied that he couldn’t do anything about the fine.”

In a challenge form he submitted to St Albans district council (SADC) against the £70 fine, Julian pointed out he has cancer in several parts of his body, and “suffers occasional bouts of lack of concentration”.

However the council’s operations support manager rejected his challenge, saying it was Julian’s responsibility to ensure the badge was clearly shown.

In a frank response to the official, Julian replied: “That you could display such callousness and lack of sympathy for my position I found incredibly upsetting. I am suffering from prostate, pancreatic and bone cancer. You don’t have to be Einstein to work out that I am dying. In fact I have been given only months to live.”

He added: “My only crime was a small lapse in memory. On principle I have no intention of paying this fine.”

Julian warned the official that he would further appeal the fine if necessary.

He said: “By the time this has been investigated I will probably be dead, so go ahead and claim from my estate. I am sure the people of St Albans and Harpenden will be seriously impressed.”

Julian was further insulted when despite telling the council about his cancer, he received a letter from a SADC “jobsworth” asking for a doctor’s letter describing his illness.

But following intervention from the Herts Advertiser, the council has this week backed down and apologised to Julian for upsetting him.

Mike Lovelady, head of legal services, said: “In this case we have decided to cancel the penalty charge notice on compassionate grounds.

“So as to avoid misunderstandings arising in the future, it is important that people are aware it is a parking offence not to display a Blue Badge while parking in a disabled bay.”

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