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Mum reveals how to take on car parking fine companies and win after David and Goliath court battle

Mirror logo Mirror 11/07/2017
Credits: Manchester Evening News © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Manchester Evening News

A mum-of-three who stood up to a parking company in court and won said they "picked on the wrong lady".

Blessing Burgess represented herself in front of a judge after she received a fine from Excel following a mistake when putting in her car's registration number.

The 31-year-old said she received "intimidating" letters, which she felt were trying to scare her.

Related: This app could save you from a parking ticket fine (Wochit News)

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Blessing parked at the Peel Centre in Stockport town centre with her family in January last year, the Manchester Evening News reports.

She had kept the ticket, proving she had paid to park, and appealed the fine, but was refused on the grounds that her car’s registration number had been entered incorrectly.

Blessing’s husband Daniel had put in the registration for their other car by mistake.

Excel offered to repeal the fine in exchange for a ‘goodwill cancellation fee’ of £10, but Blessing said she felt the company was simply profiteering as they had suffered no financial loss.

The mum from Cheadle Heath said: “They kept sending us horrible letters and we got threatening messages from a debt collection agency too.

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“It was hard not to be intimidated by the letters – I really felt like they were trying to scare me.

“We even did mediation, but they were talking as though if it came to court I would definitely lose, like I didn’t stand a chance.”

Earlier this month the civil case was heard at Stockport Magistrates’ Court - and a judge found in Blessing’s favour.

“I represented myself as I couldn’t spend any more money on it,” she said.

“I couldn’t believe they took it that far. The night before I couldn’t sleep at all, I was just lying there wondering how we’d find the money if we lost.

“I am so pleased the judge could see the reality of what was taking place. At the end of the day, they picked on the wrong lady.”

A spokesman for Excel said they were ‘disappointed’ with the verdict, and pointed out that an audio message at the ticket machine reminds drivers to enter their full registration number.

“At the time Ms Burgess appealed, we offered her a reduced charge of £10 in recognition of the circumstances described,” bosses said.

“Motorists are required to enter their full Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) when purchasing a ticket. Ms Burgess entered a totally different VRM, thus breaching the clear terms and conditions.

“We are currently considering our position in relation to the judge’s decision and will refrain from any further comment at this stage while the matter is ongoing.”

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