Toni Griffiths was fined £50 when she had to leave her car to go to hospital in an ambulance last weekend
A traffic warden has been labelled a ‘jobsworth’ after fining a pregnant woman when a note in her car explained she had been taken to hospital.
Heavily pregnant Toni Griffiths was shopping in Asda last Saturday when staff rushed to help after she was doubled over with ‘stabbing pains’.
They called her an ambulance and left a note in her car explaining she had been taken to hospital, and asking a warden to pop in to speak to staff.
But the 32-year-old returned to her car to find she had been hit with a £50 fine from Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Cheshire West and Chester Council have since promised to cancel the fine but explained that because the warden had already processed the fine, this could not be reversed on the spot.
Mrs Griffiths, from Ellesmere Port, said: ‘I was just angry – angry and upset.
‘He couldn’t let it go could he? I know he has a job to do but I had been rushed to hospital – he’s a bit of a jobsworth.
‘My husband picked up the car later on and handed me the fine – he just said “unbelievable”.
‘After all the contractions I was put on gas and air in the hospital so I wasn’t feeling great when I found out – but the day after I came to my senses and I was just angry about it.
The staff who called her an ambulance asked for the warden to come and speak with them about what had happened, so that they could explain
But the fine was issued when Mrs Griffiths car was left there after 1.38pm, though the car park would have been free after 3pm anyway
‘There was a pay-and-display ticket on my car which took me up till 1.38pm and after 3pm it was free – so there was only about an hour or so left to go.
‘He could have just let it go.’
Staff at the supermarket had left a note reading: ‘Customer gone to hospital, ambulance called by ASDA, come in and talk to ASDA.’
The kind-hearted employees even offered to pay her fine when they heard about it.
Mrs Griffiths with her son Charlie, 5, who was looked after by staff when she was bent over in pain
She added: ‘There was a note on the car saying I’d gone to hospital by ambulance and security tried to explain to the warden – but he just put the ticket on anyway.
‘Security even offered to pay for another one – there was even a woman in the car watching the whole thing next to them who says it all happened.
‘She saw ASDA security speak to him and can confirm everything.
‘I admit through the whole thing the ASDA team were really lovely, especially how they looked after my three-year-old son Charlie.
‘They called the ambulance for me and let me sit in the staff room – they really couldn’t have done any more.
‘I remember just feeling a sharp stabbing pain in my stomach and I remember just being stood there bent over my trolley and people were asking me “are you okay?”
‘When staff came and took me to the staff room, the manager said to me “I can’t believe how calm you are”.
‘I arrived at ASDA at 11.30 that day, and I was in an ambulance by quarter past 12.’
Mrs Griffiths is back on her feet, but will have a follow-up check today.
The council, now aware of her circumstances, has revoked the fine.
Toni said: ‘It’s £50 but if I would have left it, it would have gone up and up and up.
‘I think the system of paying the fines is wrong because you can’t actually speak to anyone.
‘You just have an automated machine and that can’t be any good for the elderly or disabled people – and certainly not for me.’
Mrs Griffiths said getting the fine left her ‘angry and upset’. The council has since rescinded the fine
Councillor Karen Shore, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: ‘We have rescinded the ticket immediately.
‘Our thoughts are with Mrs Griffiths and we wish her a speedy recovery.
‘While there was a note on the windscreen, our officers cannot take this into account since we experience many weird and wonderful explanations on a daily basis.
‘It was only after the ticket had been issued that Asda staff came over to explain what had happened to Mrs Griffiths.
‘Because the ticket had already been issued and logged into the system it cannot be rescinded on the spot.
‘The officer made notes on the system to explain what happened and if we had received an appeal the matter would have been resolved quickly.
‘We have not received any appeal and this complaint has only been made to us through the press.’
A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service said: ‘We got a call at 12.06 on Satuday August 19 to the Ellesmere Port ASDA.
‘We took a patient to Liverpool Women’s Hospital. It involved a woman in her early 30s suffering from abdominal pain.’
Cordelia Kingsley, store manager at the ASDA, said: ‘I’d like to thank colleagues for supporting Ms Griffiths in store on Saturday. We all wish her well and hope she feels much better soon.’