Veteran would rather go to jail than pay Boston parking ticket

George Chester EMN-140729-090927001 EMN-140729-090927001
George Chester EMN-140729-090927001 EMN-140729-090927001

A 94-year-old veteran says he would rather go to jail than pay a parking fine in a bust-up with Boston Borough Council.

George Chester claims he was not even in Boston when he is alleged to have been parked illegally near the town’s bus station.

Mr Chester says he was 18 miles away in Horncastle, where he lives, at the time.He has already appealed the decision twice and lost.

But the determined driver is refusing to back down and has launched a scathing attack on the council, accusing them of acting like bullies.

The pensioner, a bomb disposal officer in London in the Second World War, said: “They (the council) don’t frighten me.

“They can say what they want but I know I wasn’t anywhere near Boston at the time they say - and I can prove it.

”They made a mistake and they are trying to make me pay for it. They’re acting like bullies. Well, they don’t scare me.

“I dealt with a lot worse things in the war.

“I used to dig down 40 feet to defuse unexploded bombs. Some of them weighed a tonne. If they’d gone up, they’d have taken half of London with them.

“They (the council) should try doing that job.

“I only tell the truth. I wasn’t in Boston at 12.54.

“I’m not going to pay the fine. If I’d paid at first it would have been £35. Now, it’s £105. It’s not the cost.

“They can take me to court. If it means going to jail then Ill go to jail.”

Mr Chester, who has five children and nine grandchildren, says he drove to Boston to help an elderly neighbour who had to travel to Spalding.

The duo had waited in Horncastle Town Centre for the 12.30pm bus to Conginsby.

From there, the neighbour planned to catch a bus to Boston and then on to Spalding.

However, by 12.50pm,the Coningsby bus had not turned up. Mr Chester offered to drive his neighbour to Boston, so she could catch a bus to Spalding. He says he stopped for petrol at a filling station on Boston Road in Horncastle at 1.10pm - almost 15 minutes after the ticket was issued in Boston.

After reaching Boston, he accepts he parked outside the bus station but says he left his car for two or three minutes to make sure his neighbour got on the correct bus.

He added: “When I got back to the car, the enforcement officer was putting the ticket on the windscreen. I tried to explain to him what had happened but he didn’t want to know.”

Mr Chester has his neighbour’s bus ticket which shows she boarded the 13.54 to Spalding. He used that ticket in his two unsuccessful appeals.

Mr Chester added: “There are plenty of people who saw us when we were still in Horncastle at 12.54.”

Mr Chester is now planning another appeal and is being backed by former Horncastle Mayor and District Councillor Fiona Martin, who has written a letter of support to the borough council.

A spokesman said: “Mr Chester has been through two internal appeals processes and not produced evidence to alter this decision. We would urge Mr Chester to continue to use the process available to anyone who wishes to dispute a parking penalty and ask that the matter be heard by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, which is an independent body which listens to evidence from both parties and then makes a decision on the case based on the evidence that is presented to it.

“The council will be bound by the independent panel’s decision. We can only follow the appeals procedure laid down, in common with other local authorities. It would not be appropriate to ask the parking enforcement officers to make judgements based on age, war service or anything else before issuing tickets, assuming the drivers of illegally-parked vehicles are even present at the time the ticket is issued. They do a thankless enough job as it is. It is necessary to have some rules for parking in order to prevent chaos. Without them (and even with them) some people do park and leave vehicles in the most inappropriate and careless fashion to the inconvenience of other road users.”