A STUDENT from Winton was given a parking ticket as he rushed to help an old lady who had fallen over.

Drew Hollinshead, 21, was driving along Wimborne Road when he noticed an elderly lady lying on the pavement in nearby Wycliffe Road and swiftly pulled over to help.

When the woman was safely back on her feet, he returned to his car where he found a Bournemouth Council parking warden issuing a £70 fine for stopping in a disabled parking bay without a permit.

He said: "I saw an old woman fall down and stopped for around 30 to 45 seconds at the most to help her.

"I went back to my car and there was a parking officer who was giving me a ticket. He must have seen what was happening and that I was helping the old lady.

"I asked him why he was still giving me the ticket and he said: 'It gives me no great satisfaction to give you this ticket'.

"Any normal person would have turned a blind eye when they saw why I had stopped as I just got out, helped this old lady to get up and went back to my car."

Drew said that he ripped the ticket up half in the heat of the moment and threw it in the bin, but later went to fetch it to show Daily Echo.

"It says that it costs £70 if paid within 28 days of the date that it was issued or £35 if paid early, within 14 days, but it's not the cost that matters, it's the principle of it.

"I tried to do something good and then something bad happened because of it.

"I stopped in the disabled bay as it was the nearest place to where the old lady was. There was space for about four cars and it was completely empty, so it wasn't like somebody was waiting to use it and I was blocking the space.

"Under the circumstances, I think it's ridiculous."

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Bournemouth Council originally told the Daily Echo that they are not able to comment on individual cases and would not give any more details.

But after the story appeared in the Echo on Monday, the council issued this statement: "Bournemouth Borough Council strongly disputes Mr Hollinshead version of events following an incident in Wycliffe Road after which the parking attendant was left distressed and shaken up.  Mr Hollinshead of course reserves the right to appeal.

"The parking ticket was issued because Mr Hollinshead’s vehicle was not displaying a valid disabled badge or clock. The notice had been printed when Mr Hollinshead returned to his vehicle.

"A written log made by our Parking Attendant immediately following the incident states that Mr Hollinshead had claimed he had been in the parking bay for between 30 and 40 seconds even though the issuing of a parking ticket takes around five minutes to complete.

"Our attendant’s statement also notes that Mr Hollinshead approached the attendant several times after the ticket was issued and used very aggressive and abusive language in a personal attack directly on the warden.

"The attendant’s log also states that Mr Hollinshead physically threatened and assaulted the member of staff, advising him that he would “have an accident” and records that Mr Hollinshead pushed our staff member towards the road.

"The log states that the attendant then alerted nearby police resulting in a PCSO warning Mr Hollinshead about his abusive language and supporting our staff member in his actions.  Mr Hollinshead then left the scene.

"The attendant’s log records a third approach by Mr Hollinshead, during which he stated he was parking in the disabled bay because he had gone to the aid of an elderly lady and that he was only gone for two minutes.

"The attendant has recorded that he then pointed out that it takes five minutes to issue a PCN. This was the first time it is recorded that Mr Hollinshead raised the issue of assisting another person and the incident with the elderly person was not witnessed by the traffic attendant.

"The log concludes that Mr Hollinshead then drove off whilst on the phone."

Margaret Leslie, Operations Manager for Parking Services, said: "Any motorist receiving a fine can appeal against a ticket through the contact details given on their Penalty Charge Notice. We give full consideration into all individual cases and take mitigating circumstances into account."