POLICE SURVEILLANCE

A motorist who was fined £100 for circling a car park without stopping has won his legal battle to have the charge rescinded.

Dave Hotchin had spent half an hour circling the Fistral Beach car park in Newquay, Cornwall, looking for a space, before driving off in frustration.

Despite not actually stopping in a parking space for any length of time, he received a demand for £100 in the post some two months later, after his car was caught on the car park's automatic number plate reader.

The CCTV administrator, Parking Eye, sent four further warning letters before commencing litigation proceedings in an attempt to extract the money.

However, a judge sided with 49-year-old Mr Hotchin stating that the 31 minutes spent circling the car park did not constitute 'parking'.

Speaking to the Western Morning News, Mr Hotchin said: "We were very surprised. We thought it was unfair considering we'd never even parked up. We were just circling the car park looking for a space.

"My wife didn't want to go to court and found it all very intimidating but at this stage it wasn't really about the money. We felt like we were being bullied if anything.

"The most vulnerable people in society just pay up but we decided to stick it out because we felt we had a good case."

Parking Eye remained unrepentant over the matter. A spokesman simply said that the company "wins the majority of legal actions it brings against car park users".