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Man with colitis gets parking ticket while on emergency bathroom break

PUBLISHED: 07:32 25 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:18 25 September 2017

John Cocker, who has colitis, was given a parking ticket after stopping for an emergency bathroom break. Picture: TOM POTTER

John Cocker, who has colitis, was given a parking ticket after stopping for an emergency bathroom break. Picture: TOM POTTER

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A man suffering from colitis who got a parking ticket while on an emergency bathroom break says the council could have shown him sympathy and let him off.

John Cocker, who has colitis, was given a parking ticket after stopping for an emergency bathroom break. Picture: TOM POTTERJohn Cocker, who has colitis, was given a parking ticket after stopping for an emergency bathroom break. Picture: TOM POTTER

John Cocker, 54, a self-employed gardener from Lower Hacheston, suffers from sudden painful stomach cramps as a result of his condition.

On August 18 he began feeling unwell so parked on an area of crosshatchings in the Portman Road car park in Ipswich, reversing his van into the bay so that the sit-on mower he was towing would be out of the way.

He bought a parking ticket and placed it in his windscreen but when he returned just 10 minutes later, he had been given a ticket.

He appealed the decision, sending Ipswich Borough Council the £2 parking ticket he paid for and a list of medication he has to take to keep his condition under control.

John Cocker, who suffers from colitis, was given a ticket after he parked his van after suffering painful stomach cramps. Picture: JOHN COCKERJohn Cocker, who suffers from colitis, was given a ticket after he parked his van after suffering painful stomach cramps. Picture: JOHN COCKER

But the council rejected his appeal saying he should have parked across two empty bays and bought two parking tickets instead.

Mr Cocker said he thought the council should have taken his medical condition into consideration and cancelled the penalty.

He said: “I told them I had colitis but they didn’t seem to be interested.

“I would understand if I had blocked someone in but I parked in the corner out of the way because I had a ride-on mower on the back.
“I even paid a couple of quid for a parking ticket.

John Cocker, who has colitis, was given a parking ticket after stopping for an emergency bathroom break. Picture: TOM POTTERJohn Cocker, who has colitis, was given a parking ticket after stopping for an emergency bathroom break. Picture: TOM POTTER

“The colitis can come all of a sudden and I get painful stomach cramps.

“I thought parking there was the safest thing I could do.
“There were no signs saying this was a restricted area and the cross hatchings were washed out.

“They said I should have parked in a double bay and bought two tickets.

“Even if I had parked over two bays, I was towing the mower and was afraid someone may have nicked it. It just doesn’t seem to be fair, they are supposed to be a public service.
“If I had parked there without a ticket I would have deserved it.

“I just think they could have been more sympathetic.”

Mr Cocker has now installed a portaloo in his van just in case he gets caught short while on the road.

Ipswich Borough Council was asked for a comment but did not reply.

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